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Neville relieved after maiden La Liga victory

Gary Neville was a relieved man after finally securing his maiden managerial league win on Saturday when Valencia defeated Espanyol 2-1. 

Second-half goals from Alvaro Negredo and Denis Cheryshev saw Valencia claim their first victory in La Liga since November. 

It was Neville’s first win in the league in his 10th attempt after taking over from Nuno Espirito Santo at the beginning of December. 

And the former England and Manchester United defender could not hide his delight at ending his barren streak, but knows there is still a lot of work left to do to get the club higher up in the table. 

“Relief is probably a good word,” he said.

“It did feel like relief at end. You saw the reaction of the fans and the players – everybody was relieved to get a win under our belt. 

“Nine [games without a win] under me, four before I came, it’s too many for this club.

“This is not a night for celebration, to get carried away, it’s now important we gain some confidence and take that forward.”

Neville also confirmed that Pako Ayestaran, who was assistant under Rafael Benitez at Valencia, will return to the club’s coaching ranks. 

“Pako Ayestaran will join my coaching team on Monday,” Neville revealed.

“He’s been here before. But I would like to clarify that this does not mean he is replacing any of current staff, I have been delighted with them, it is just to strengthen my coaching team.

“I have been thinking about this for a while, speaking to him over last days. We start again on Monday, and he will be with us.”

Sat 13 Feb, 2016
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