Valencia owner Peter Lim has denied appointing Gary Neville as boss because he was a friend amid talk the England coach is set to be offered a two-year deal.
Neville, 41, was appointed Los Che boss in December on a deal until the end of the season, but after a run of nine La Liga games without a win the heat was starting to rise on the former Manchester United man.
However, the recent 2-1 success over Espanyol bucked that trend and Valencia have since beaten Granada in La Liga which was sandwiched in between a 6-0 hammering of Rapid Vienna in the Europa League and businessman Lim has claimed his faith never wavered in Neville.
Lim told Valencia’s official website: “I picked Gary not because he is a good friend; Gary is a good coach, who happened to be a friend. I think that has to be very clear to everyone.
“I look at him, he has got the potential in him, I knew him for a while and his football knowledge is tremendous. He is a top pundit in the UK. I chose him because of his knowledge of football and everything that is around football.”
The upturn in Valencia’s form could lead to Neville being offered a two-year deal, according to the Daily Mail.
Singaporean moneyman Lim, with whom Neville has several business interests, including part-ownership in Salford City, is believed to be happy with Neville’s progress at the Mestalla.
“I am very confident about him, it’s just the only shortfall is maybe the language. But I believe he can overcome it, because he is a very determined person.
“More important is his experience, not only as a manager but his playing days, I think he can hold this team together,” added Lim.