Neville gets Fergie backing

Alex Ferguson has backed Gary Neville to be a successful manager after the former Manchester United player was, in an unexpected announcement, appointed as the new Valencia manager on Wednesday.

Ferguson, who managed the Red Devils for 26 years, promoted Neville to the United first team from the academy structures and says he has all the attributes to succeed at the Spanish club.

Ferguson told British media: "Gary has many attributes that suggest he will be successful in management. His leadership skills are strong, he's honest and he's hard working.

"He is the type of character who is not afraid of making big decisions, which is a vital skill when leading. I think Gary has all the qualities required to be a success. He's not afraid to make decisions. He knows his own mind.

"Leadership matters, whatever industry you're in – some people are leaders, some aren't. Gary has that ability to lead and, most importantly, he won't be afraid of the challenge he's taking on."

Nevile will be assisted at the Mestalla Stadium by his brother Phil.