Gary Neville has been sacked as coach of Valencia

Gary Neville has been sacked as Valencia head coach after overseeing just three La Liga wins in 16 games in charge.

The former Manchester United captain was surprisingly appointed by club chairman Peter Lim – with whom he has worked closely at Salford City – in December.

Neville has endured a torrid spell in charge at Mestalla, winning just 10 of his 28 matches in all competitions and overseeing exits from both the Copa del Rey and the Europa League.

Protests from supporters had grown in the past week and, with just eight matches remaining in its season, Valencia has chosen to cut short his time in charge and name assistant Pako Ayestaran as coach until the end of the campaign.

“Valencia Football Club have today parted company with Gary Neville as head coach,” a club statement read.

“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.”

In a message released through Valencia’s website, Neville said: “I want to give thanks to Valencia, to the fans, the coaching staff and the players.

“I had wanted to continue with the work I started, but I understand that we’re in a business based on results, and in the 28 matches – 10 wins, seven draws and 11 defeats – we have not been at the level that I demand and that the club require.”

Valencia, which sits just six points outside the relegation zone, faces a key clash with fellow struggler Las Palmas on Saturday.

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