Valencia owner Peter Lim has insisted that Gary Neville was picked to take charge of the Spanish club due to his merits as a coach rather than the fact that the pair are friends.
Eyebrows were raised when Neville, who had been working with England as assistant manager and as a TV pundit, was appointed head coach at Valencia earlier this term.
Lim has a 50% stake in semi-professional club Salford City back in Manchester while Neville owns 10%. There have been accusations that Neville’s relationship with Lim secured him the Valencia job but the latter believes the former Manchester United right-back will prove how good of a coach he is in time.
“I am very confident about him. It’s just the only shortfall is maybe the language. But I believe he can overcome it, because he is a very determined person,” Lim said.
“I know a lot of people say: ‘Oh no, he has never been a coach’, but I do believe that he has got the ability to become a good coach. He has been an assistant coach with England, and also when he was at Manchester United he was always playing a very important role as a captain. It’s common knowledge that Sir Alex Ferguson passed him a lot of training in managing players.”
The move was a strange one for Neville and it is one that Man United will watch with interest as Louis van Gaal comes under increasing pressure at Old Trafford.
Neville, working with younger brother Phil, remains winless in La Liga with Valencia after two league games in charge.