Roy Keane reflects on Gary Neville's disappointing managerial start at Valencia: 'He's making excuses already'
Roy Keane believes his former Manchester United team mate Gary Neville will be reeling after his managerial career began with a tame defeat last night.
Valencia would have failed to make the Champions League last 16 regardless of the result after Gent's victory over Zenit St Petersburg in Belgium but were beaten 2-0 at home by Lyon.
A sheepish looking Neville lamented Valencia's long injury list and recent fixture schedule after the loss.
Speaking on ITV last night, the Republic of Ireland assistant manager Keane said: "You look at afterwards, he's talking about fixture pile-ups and injuries... He's making up excuses already."
The fact that Neville has only signed a contract until the end of the season is something which does not sit well with Keane.
"I think the bit I'm puzzled about is, he's talking about the opportunity but then he's talking about his commitment to the club and obviously I know it's coming from the owner maybe, but he's signed a six-month contract. That's the bit I'm puzzled by," he added.
"I know he's keeping his options open because he's still working with England but if you're sitting down with an owner and he talking about committing to the club and he's saying, 'You're the man for us, here's a six-month deal', it seems a bit strange."
Keane knows the difference between punditry and management and feels Neville will be feeling the strain.
"It's completely different, I think Gary's head will be spinning tonight after the game, after the defeat. The emotions of it. It's chalk and cheese from being a pundit to managing on the sideline, to working with players, man-management skills and he'll have the problem with the language, although I'm sure Phil will help him out with that.
"Fingers crossed he does well because it was an opportunity he couldn't turn down. It's a big challenge for him."
Belfast Telegraph Digital