Mathew Ryan has backed former Valencia boss Gary Neville to return make a successful coaching return despite resuming his television punditry role.
The Neville experiment as head coach in LaLiga was unsuccessful and brief after his surprise appointment last December – the 41-year-old was sacked by owner and close friend Peter Lim in March after winning only 10 of 28 matches in all competitions.
Having initially accepted the role at Mestalla as a replacement for Nuno in order to prove himself on the touchline after working in TV for Sky Sports, Neville’s return to punditry was confirmed last Sunday.
But after witnessing Neville’s managerial style, goalkeeper Ryan would not be surprised if the former England assistant returned to the dugout and enjoyed a successful career.
“It’s not easy for a coach coming in during the middle of the season, especially at a club where they don’t speak the language,” Australia international Ryan, 24, told Omnisport.
“A club that’s very family-orientated, so it’s not easy to settle in and have the respect of everyone at the club.
“It’s easy to sit there and say you would do this and do that, but to be put in his actual situation and come in with all that pressure of being at a big club, it was always going to be a difficult job and unfortunately for him it didn’t work out.
“Maybe in different circumstances if he had a pre-season under his belt, he could have time to tweak things and work on his principles. I dare say it could have been a different story.
“There’s no doubt with someone of his calibre that, if he gets another coaching gig in the future, he can go on and be successful.”
Ryan, who has seemingly impressed Neville’s replacement Pako Ayestaran during pre-season having worn the captain’s armband in one fixture, added: “Everyone has their different styles.
“He obviously played under arguably the greatest manager of all time Alex Ferguson and if I was him I would’ve based a lot of my coaching strategy around what the Scot would’ve been doing because he was very successful.
“Gary had some good ideas. My opinion, that being his first senior head coach role, I thought there were few things he was a little raw on. As you do when you first start and face different situations that you might’ve practiced but it’s a different thing when it’s actually presented to you.
“In today’s day and age with social media too, that stuff can become quite public too.
“It’s funny the way the world works sometimes. For whatever reason you could have a bad trot as a player or manager and all of a sudden something can just happen and you can go on one of those amazing runs. I wouldn’t be surprised if he went on to be successful.”