Neville’s first press conference: The highlights

Daniel Storey

Gary Neville has taken his first press conference since being appointed as coach of Valencia.

Here’s what he said on various things:


On why he said yes to this offer – “Why here? When I received the call on Sunday evening, I thought what a club, what an opportunity, what a challenge. I’ve been offered jobs in football over last five years, but the timing never felt right. I wanted to learn about different things first. Being on TV these last three years talking about coaches, the time has now come for me to stand up. If I’d have turned down this job I’d have said goodbye to my credibility.”


On his aims – “I dont think about the long term, goals or objectives. I am focusing on Sunday’s training session, Monday’s, team for Wed.”


On learning the language – “At moment I need to find Spanish teacher who will get up at 6am to give me lessons! I want to do what Philip has done. Philip’s Spanish is fantastic, so he can communicate with the players. I have to show the same level of commitment as him. I must pick up some key phrases as quickly as possible. A lot of the coaching team and backroom team speak English. David, who works in video analysis, speaks English and Spanish and translated for me.”


On a long-term project – “The absolute intention is to have success straight away, that’s always the way at a club of Valencia’s size. It’s a rollercoaster. But the owners are fully committed to long-term success. I can only think long-term, I can’t think short-term, it wouldn’t be me. That’s why I wanted to come here – they have young players, they didn’t want the squad to be overhauled.”


On his family – “My family will move over here permanently. My girls finish school in Manchester in two weeks and move over to Valencia. When I was in Manchester I wanted footballers from abroad to show commitment to the club and the way of life so I have done that.”


On his brother – 


On the club’s new coaching staff  – “The coaches that will be with me are my brother, Philip, Miguel Angel Angulo, the U19 coach who is a legend and accepted my invitation to become a coach. He is highly-respected and is not just here to be a local guy, he’s here to be an important part of the club’s coaching staff in the coming months.”


On his inexperience – “I would question it. As a neutral observer, I would be sceptical and want to be proved right. I have to say that from my point of view, I fully understand that I must prove to Valencia fans and players that I can do this job. I have confidence in myself and my understanding of the game. My belief is strong.”


On the Mestalla atmosphere – “I understand from playing here the atmosphere and intimidation that you get from the fans and I want to harness that.”


On playing with style – “Every coach wants to play attacking football and therefore entertain people. You must also must find way to win, and that’s the challenge for every coach. I’m not going to insult Valencia by telling them I’m coming over here and playing football like Manchester United.”


On using wingers – “I wasn’t expecting that question. It’s important to me to appraise the players as quickly as possible, and play the best style of play that suits us winning matches straight away. I have to pick the right team, irrespective of style. We haven’t got a pre-season.”

Valencia chairwoman Layhoon Chan also welcomed Neville to the club.

“On Monday in our press conference I said that we would be looking for a new coach to provide leadership and strength to our team,” Chan said. “Gary is an excellent coach and has all the qualities that we need.  He is a leader, a great motivator and and is highly respected. His experience will serve as inspiration for our players.”

“This appointment is not about nationality nor his relationship with Peter [Lim, Valencia’s owner]. It is about Gary’s qualities and his ability to lead Valencia at this crucial time.”