Gary Neville has branded questions over his future as Valencia manager as “ridiculous” after yet another defeat.
Neville remains without a La Liga victory since his appointment as Valencia coach in early December, with the club drawing five of their eight league matches since. Valencia’s winless run dates back to before Neville’s arrival, with their last victory coming against Celta Vigo on November 7.
Valencia fell to a 1-0 defeat at home to struggling Sporting Gijon on Sunday to apply yet more pressure to the former Manchester United defender, who has also overseen the club’s exit from the Champions League.
Neville has fared better in the Copa del Rey, leading Valencia to a semi-final clash with Barcelona over two legs, but the club’s league form has led to questions over his future. Neville responded emphatically on Sunday.
“You’re asking me about my position? The Valencia fans have a very fine way of telling you when your position (is under threat), but you didn’t see that today,” he said.
“I find this question ridiculous. It’s from you, don’t put this onto the fans. Please don’t sit there and put this on the fans, it’s a big mistake you’re making.
“You misrepresent what they’ve shown from the first minute to the last and your job as reporter – and I’ve been a reporter – is to represent fairly what happens and that doesn’t represent what has happened among the 30,000 or 40,000 fans there today.”
Valencia were ninth in La Liga at the time of Neville’s appointment, and they have picked up just six points from nine games since, dropping to 12th. However, the former Sky Sports pundit saw reason for positivity despite the 1-0 defeat to Gijon.
“I can sleep at night knowing there has been improvements structurally in the team, but we should have won that game four or five-nil in my opinion,” Neville said. “I think I’ve had 14 matches here and that was a performance I can relate to. I find it difficult to explain. I just sat there with the players and coaching staff for 15 mins trying to understand what actually happened on the pitch.
“It’s obviously the most disappointing result of the season here but it doesn’t tell the story of the game, which was the best performance of the season. It’s a game we shouldn’t lose, you all know that.
“It’s a big disappointment but we don’t have time to be disappointed, we have to ride straight away again on the bike. I told the players in the dressing room to not allow that to colour their minds.
“I feel much better after that performance than I did after the Rayo or Getafe matches (which ended in draws), even though they were better results.”