Neville ‘couldn’t say no’ to Valencia

Valencia manager Gary Neville says that he was made an offer he couldn't refuse when he was asked to take charge of the Spanish side.

The former Manchester United defender was watching events at Mestalla as his brother Phil was assistant to head coach Nuno Espírito Santo, and got the call from club owner Peter Lim after Santo was given the sack.

"I knew what was going on at Valencia," he told AS. "I was following it closely because of my brother. I knew the pressure was increasing all the time.

"So when I saw Lim calling me on a Sunday afternoon I thought "oh-oh". He told me he'd just lost his coach and he had a question for me.

"What he asked me is a privilege, an honour. Valencia is a fantastic club. I knew Mestalla, having played there. I couldn't say no. If I'd said no I'd have lost credibility as a coach. I've been preparing for this moment my whole life.

"The risky thing would have been to say no. I like to plan my life, but things in football happen like this. And I know Valencia have had 15 coaches in 15 years, but this is my opportunity.

"[A six-month contract is] good for the club, it's good for me, it lets the club get stability, lets the owners plan for next season, being able to decide in February or March.

"If I'm able to get the most out of the team… well we'll talk in March. I think six months is sensible. There's trust with the owners and we can talk with total transparency.

"Peter Lim plans for the long term. He doesn't look to the short term. And that means I can't think about just six months ahead. The focus is on youth, players who are going to be here for a long time."