GARY NEVILLE has been sacked as Valencia manager with immediate effect after just four months in charge.
In a statement made by the club today, Valencia said: “After careful consideration, the club have decided to make a change with the best interests of the Valencia CF moving forward this season. We thank Gary for his work at Valencia and wish him the best in the future.
“The club have today appointed Pako Ayestaran as Head Coach until the end of the season.”
Ayestaran is most famous for his association with Rafa Benitez, as the 53-year-old was assistant to the Spaniard during his time at Los Che and Liverpool.
Neville has had a troubled time at The Mestalla, after only winning 10 of his 28 games in charge; with fans quickly turning on him after a 7-0 defeat to Barcelona in the Copa Del Rey in February.
Fans crowded the team bus outside the Camp Nou branding the players ‘mercenaries’, and also featured a post match press conference where he was pressured by journalists to resign.
Valencia’s most recent defeat against Celta Vigo prompted chants of ‘Gary go now!’, as dissatisfaction continued to ring out from the terraces of The Mestalla.
The 41-year-old had initially stated after the 2-0 defeat that he wouldn’t walk away, however the Spanish club has taken action during the international break, with Neville continuing his role as England coach.
The former Manchester United defender had put his future in doubt earlier this month after saying he would not continue as manager after the end of the season, due to the club’s performance not being up to standard.
Neville had been appointed on a short term deal with a view to negotiating a new contract in the summer.
The sacking could raise questions over the organisational future of Salford City, with Singaporean Peter Lim owning a majority share in both clubs.
Valencia currently lie 14th in La Liga, six points above the relegation zone, with eight games left.
By Oliver Mackenzie