Valencia new coach Gary Neville trains players for Wednesday's match
Neville put the players through their paces in a training session on Monday as the team prepares for their must-win Champions League Group H game at home to Olympique Lyonnais on Wednesday.
Neville put the players through their paces in a training session on Monday as the team prepares for their must-win Champions League Group H game at home to Olympique Lyonnais on Wednesday. (Getty Images)
Valencia: Nearly three thousand Valencia fans turned out to welcome Gary Neville on Monday as the former England and Manchester United defender took charge of his first training session as coach of the La Liga club.
Appointed last week to replace Nuno Espirito Santo at the Singapore-owned team, Neville put the players through their paces along with brother Phil and Miguel Angel Angulo, his two assistant coaches, as the squad prepares for Wednesday's must-win Champions League Group H game at home to Olympique Lyonnais.
Valencia need to beat the Ligue 1 side at the Mestalla and hope Belgian club Ghent fail to win at home to section winners Zenit St Petersburg if they are to advance to the last 16 of Europe's elite club competition.
Neville agreed a contract until the end of the season after Nuno stepped down with the team struggling for consistency domestically and in Europe.
The 40-year-old took over officially on Sunday, a day after Valencia put on an impressive battling performance to rescue a 1-1 draw at home to Spanish and European champions Barcelona in La Liga despite being ravaged by injuries and suspensions.
"We are full of excitement and desire to get things going with him," fullback Jose Luis Gaya told a post-training news conference. "The past is past and a new era is beginning."
Gaya said Neville had not tried to convey too many ideas to the players in their first session together and his lack of Spanish had not been a problem with plenty of English speakers in the squad.
"He wants the team to be compact, hard-working and supportive of each other and Valencia to be a tough opponent," the Spain Under-21 international said.
"We have to be able to have a chance of keeping the ball as otherwise it would be impossible. Let's see what idea the boss has and we will follow it to the death."
There was good news for Neville on the injury front as Germany World Cup winner Shkodran Mustafi, a centre back, returned to training after injury with keeper Diego Alves, who is recovering from knee surgery and has not played since May.
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