Under-fire Gary Neville to delay England meet-up

Photo credit: AFP

Photo credit: AFP

Gary Neville will delay meeting up with the England squad in preparation for their friendlies against Germany and the Netherlands until Thursday after his Valencia side slumped to a 2-0 defeat at home to Celta Vigo on Sunday.

Neville was met with chants of “donkey” and “Gary go now” towards the end of Valencia’s third consecutive La Liga defeat, provoking a rethink of his initial decision to fulfill his duties as an assistant to England manager Roy Hodgson.

“You’ll report it as panic, but it is not panic, it is something that’s important,” said Neville.

“I have just spoken to Roy Hodgson and I am going to stay back in Valencia. The players train Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday this week. I feel it’s the right thing to do.

“Obviously it’s not an ideal situation. I’m the assistant coach for the national team of England, with 60 million people, but I understand the two or three million people in Valencia need my attention this week.”

England travel to world champions Germany on Saturday before hosting the Netherlands on March 29 as they step up their preparations for this year’s European Championship in France.

“The game is on Saturday, so I will go on Thursday afternoon. I think it’s right that I support the players and coaches here for these three days.”

Neville has now won just three of 16 league games in charge to leave Valencia six points above the relegation zone in 14th with eight games to go.

However, Los Che could yet be dragged into a relegation battle as they are still to face four of the top six in Barcelona, Real Madrid, Villarreal and Sevilla.

“We must focus on the last eight games of the season,” added Neville.

“From my point of view, the situation is not good and the results not good enough. The fans are rightly frustrated, as am I.”

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