Neville's Valencia future bleak after Betis loss

Andy West 03:15 08/02/2016
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Under pressure: Gary Neville.

Gary Neville is hanging onto his job at Valencia by a thread after seeing his team suffer yet another defeat with a 1-0 loss at Real Betis.

Ruben Castro’s 49th minute winner means Valencia have now lost three consecutive games without scoring, and Neville has still not been able to celebrate victory – or even taking the lead in a game – during his nine La Liga outings.

A large number of Valencia fans want to see him fired, with an online poll in local newspaper Superdeporte resulting in 90 per cent voting in favour of his dismissal.

But amid rumours that Rafa Benitez and Juande Ramos have been approached by Los Che to succeed Neville, there was still no official word from the Mestalla club late on Sunday night as speculation continued to mount that Singaporebased owner Peter Lim is poised to pull the trigger.

“My belief is strong, it always has been,” he said. “But there are no words I can give you to make the problem go away.”

He also claimed that his team’s loss at Betis, where they had an injury time equaliser from Shkodran Mustafi controversially ruled out for offside, was unwarranted.

“I don’t think we deserved to lose but things aren’t going our way in both boxes,” he added.

One source of support for Neville came from club legend Gaizka Mendieta, who helped the team reach consecutive Champions League finals in 2000 and 2001.

Mendieta says he expects Neville to stay in place for the time being, claiming: “The president and chairman still believe in Gary and because of the short time he has been at the club, he should stay.

“But the sporting director and the fans won’t be thinking the same. It’s not only the results, it’s the way the team is playing.”

Elsewhere, Federico Fazio was sent off on debut as Sevilla fought out a 1-1 draw at Celta Vigo. The defender rejoined the club on loan from Tottenham earlier in the week and was dismissed for two bookable offences inside the opening 24 minutes at Balaidos.

Sevilla responded well to score through Daniel Carrico, but Claudio Beauvue claimed a point for the hosts.

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