Gary Neville says he has no regrets about his decision to take the Valencia job, while he still cannot explain England’s Euro 2016 debacle.
On his return to Monday Night Football the former Manchester United defender was posed several questions by viewers and the 41-year-old was honest in his assessment.
Neville’s fellow studio pundit Jamie Carragher, enjoyed watching his colleague squirm, and said: “I’ve been waiting six months for this.”
Neville won 10 and lost 11 of his 28 matches in the Valencia job, and as expected he was asked about his stint at Valencia’s helm last season.
“I don’t regret going,” Neville said on Sky Sports. “You learn a lot. In terms of decision making, in terms of the fact there seems to be a problem every day.
“Moving away from where I lived was a massive challenge for me but I enjoyed it.
“The idea of coming back not having completed what I wanted to do is the most disappointing thing. I wanted to be able to get to the summer so I could have time with the players.”
Neville, who was sacked just four months into his reign in Spain, added: “But the reality is the results were shocking. I wish I’d done two or three things differently. I would never speak about them. But I wish I’d done them differently.”
When asked how he felt following his team’s 7-0 humbling by Barcelona in a Copa del Rey tie in February, Neville hit back with a barb of his own: “It was the worst I’d felt since I heard Jamie Carragher was coming to Sky.”
— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) August 15, 2016
The inquisition soon moved on to England’s dismal European Championship campaign, where they won only one match and were eliminated by Iceland at the last-16 stage.
Neville was Roy Hodgson’s right-hand man and he defended the six changes made by the manager for the team’s final group game, which ended in a 0-0 draw with Slovakia.
“I have always felt England teams have run out of steam at major tournaments,” said Neville. “We trusted in the squad. I felt it was the right decision. I wouldn’t change that.
“It’s a risk not changing players. Not trusting in the squad.”
Asked if England’s woeful last-16 defeat by Iceland had left him with a sense of what might have been, Neville said: “It felt worse than that. Going out to Iceland! The ultimate thing was you’re no longer in a job.
“It felt terrible, shocking. For the players, for Roy, for Ray (Lewington, assistant manager), and for the fans. We’d worked hard for two years.
“For two years we’d been pretty good. There was a lot of optimism.
“The last sixty minutes against Iceland I can’t explain to you. It was just a performance we’d not seen for two years.”