Gary Neville has revealed he spoke to Alex Ferguson – but only after accepting the job as Valencia coach.
Neville was appointed at Mestalla on Wednesday on a deal until the end of the season, but did not seek the advice of the man who was his manager throughout his club career at Manchester United.
The former England full-back said: “I didn’t consult Sir Alex Ferguson, I took the decision myself but I have spoken to him in the past few days. We had a good conversation, he offered words of support. It wasn’t just him, I spoke to Roy Hodgson and other Premier League coaches who have experience of working abroad.
“I’d be stupid not to take their advice.”
Neville has worked as an assistant under England boss Hodgson during the Three Lions’ successful qualifying campaign for Euro 2016 and he revealed the former Liverpool manager was behind his decision to further his career in La Liga.
“When I spoke to Roy he was incredibly supportive and enthusiastic and I was inspired by the conversation,” he said.
“He understood the opportunity and was wholly supportive that I should do it. He was behind me 100%.”
Neville also dismissed concerns it would be difficult to juggle the roles with Valencia and England.
“We have two games in March during an international break when most [Valencia] players will be away,” he said. “Everyone understands that Valencia will be my focus for 99% of the time.”
English coaches are not renowned for achieving great success abroad, but Neville believes there are positive examples he can follow, adding: “Sir Bobby Robson, Roy Hodgson and Terry Venables have all achieved success abroad.
“Where I am going to be in five years’ time is irrelevant. We all have ambition but the way to get there is by focusing on the individual bits at that moment in time.
“In terms of experience, we’ve all seen inexperienced coaches succeed and experienced coaches fail. There is no magic formula. I know I have to prove myself. I have worked in the media and I know why you want to ask these questions and I have to provide the answers over the coming months.
“Every coach sets off with dreams, aspirations to be the absolute best and that’s how I always approach things.
“It will be full commitment, no holding back. Valencia will get every ounce of effort and enthusiasm that I can give and hopefully that will lead to success.
“I have seen many managers create history at this football club. I am aware of the demands and the expectations and I understand that if I fall below them I won’t be here. I understand the business that we are in.”
Neville was also asked to comment on the rumours which surfaced in England on Thursday morning that the club were lining up Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho to take over next summer.
Neville laughed: “I don’t appoint the next coach.”
Valencia chairwoman Layhoon Chan added: “It’s disrespectful to Gary to talk about appointing the next coach at this time.”
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