Gary Neville insists he may never coach again

Matt Stead

Gary Neville insists he will not return to coaching in the short-term – and may choose never to return at all.

Neville was once regarded as one of England’s brightest young coaches, but his reputation has taken a hit in recent years.

An ill-fated spell at Valencia was ended within four months, while he served as Roy Hodgson’s assistant for England at three major tournaments, of which the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016 ended in disappointing failure.

In an interview with Revista of Sky Sports, the pundit and former Manchester United defender has hinted that he may never return to coaching at all.

“I always say never say never,” he said. “My love for football is too great. But I also genuinely believe it would be very difficult for me to go back into coaching because of my commitment now to so many different things.

“I’ve immersed myself in it and committed to other partners, other investors. It’s my obligation to deliver Salford City to the Football League. It’s my obligation to roll out Hotel Football internationally. It’s my obligation to deliver high-end restaurants.

“I can’t now go back into coaching in the short-term, in the next five years. The reality of it is I don’t want to.

“It could be that I’m no longer ever a coach in football. But that’s not a loss. Some people might think it is but it’s not a loss to me. It was a decision that could have happened anyway.”

Neville then added that he and he alone must take the blame for his failings at Valencia.

“I can’t go to Spain for four months and be coach of Valencia, then blame the fact that it was a difficult dressing room; I didn’t speak the language; we had some bad luck; we missed some chances,” he said.

“Why? Because I knew I didn’t speak the language before I went. I knew there was a difficult dressing room there. I knew they had sacked 15 managers in 13 years. You knew all this, Gary. You didn’t deal with it. You didn’t overcome the difficulties that were in front of you in that four-month period.

“So the idea that I can sit there and blame and say, ‘Oh, it was the owner’s fault because they shouldn’t have put me in that situation,’.  or it was the captain’s fault because he didn’t control the dressing room, or it was so-and-so missing four or five chances. I picked that player. I took the job in those circumstances under that owner. That’s why there can never be blame.

“Sometimes there are certain things that happen that are a little bit unfortunate but generally it comes back to a decision you’ve made. If someone comes into an office and says, ‘I’m not happy here,’ then you didn’t do due diligence in the first place.”