"I underestimated how difficult it would be"| Gary Neville on Valencia role

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Gary Neville has been telling Geoff Shreeves about the "massive lessons" he learned from his time as Valencia manager.

Neville was speaking to Shreeves on the Sky Sports Off Script Podcast, among other things, Neville describes how he has taken "learnings" from the experience. A challenge he admits he underestimated.

Neville says there may have been "A little bit of arrogance, a bit of ego" in his decision to take the role in the first place. One he admits he was unqualified and unprepared for.

"I think at that point, I'd lived through Man United for 20 years, I'd gone to Sky and it had gone well. So you fell a little bit unbreakable, a little bit, in a position where nothing is going to go wrong.

"When you are unprepared you're not working as hard as some people are. When you take something on that you are not qualified in or not as qualified as you should be, you get a slap around the face."

Neville says he reflects on that time, particularly given the current global crisis and takes the positives from that situation now.

"The decisions I made when I got there, it was a massive learning for me. I think it has helped me even in that last couple of weeks in what has happened in this crisis, in my businesses, in the hotels, I now act far more decisively.

"I act far more definitely that I ever acted before, because of Valencia."


Neville realises now that while he gained brilliant experience from his troubled time at Valencia that he mentioned on Off The Ball last year, he massively underestimated the task at hand.

"I underestimated how difficult it would be in a different league in a different city in a different country and the language barrier and all that entails."

The Sky Pundit went on: "I underestimated the size of the job I was about to take on. I knew it was going to be difficult because the results weren't great.

"I had been told by my brother, who was over there, that the dressing room was struggling."

When describing the scale and size of Valencia as a football city he likened it to other football-mad cities such as Liverpool or Newcastle.

"It's a ferocious city," says Neville, where getting the fans on side is crucial. "If they take you in, they love you forever," with Neville, ultimately they didn't.

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Gary Neville Geoff ShreevesP La Liga Man Utd Manchester United Remier League Valencia

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