Sport

Sir Alex Ferguson gives thumbs up to former Manchester United star Gary Neville in England coaching role

By Dean Wilkins

Sir Alex Ferguson has given his approval to Manchester United hero’s Gary Neville as a member of the England Euro 2012 coaching staff.

The Reds boss has often questioned the FA’s handling of his players and recently denied all over-23 players, except Ryan Giggs, the chance to play in the Olympics.

Fergie has also objected to the treatment of England players by the media such as David Beckham and Wayne Rooney – but the Scot said it is a great idea to select Neville.

“Sir Alex was very positive about it,” said Neville. “He felt the role that Roy [Hodgson] was speaking about would be very good for me.”

He added: “I went to see him on the Saturday morning before United played Sunderland.

“I had already made my mind up but I wanted him to be one of the first people I told.

“I was panicking, as you do walking into his office, but, as per usual, he already knew. It is typical really.”

The former Reds and international right back revealed that his success in coaching is down to his role as Sky Sports TV football pundit.

Neville was a cause for concern for many non-United fans as his history with the club could have led to a series of biased opinions.

However, the analyst has earned himself a reputation for astute, critical and honest commentary over the last season.

“If I had gone straight into a football job I don’t think I would be sat here,” he said.

“I have seen more football, and different varieties of it, than ever.

“Different teams, different atmospheres, different systems.

“I played for Manchester United for 19 years. Apart from once watching my brother at Everton, every football match I attended during that time involved them.

“It is all-consuming and it was a conscious decision to stand back from it.

“I had a most magnificent time there. I love the club.

“But I needed to get off the roundabout,” Neville added.

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