Phil left behind at Valencia

VALENCIA • Phil Neville's future at Valencia is in doubt after the Spanish football club surprisingly landed in Las Palmas on Friday night for their La Liga match without their assistant coach.

The absence of Neville, whose brother Gary was sacked as first-team coach on Wednesday, had not been announced despite new coach Pako Ayestaran holding a press conference the day before.

The 39-year-old joined Valencia as assistant coach in the summer and had been an integral part of the technical staff under Gary and his predecessor Nuno Espirito Santo, taking up his place on the bench for every game.

But he is not expected to sit in the dugout again this season. He will continue to work with the first team at the club's Paterna training ground - for now, at least.

Gary's other assistant coach Miguel Angel Angulo was also sacked on Wednesday.

Phil arrived at Valencia before Gary and there was no direct indication that his role would change after his brother's departure.

Ayestaran noted that Phil had a "long-term contract" at the club and insisted that he had "no problem" with him.

But Phil was left out of the trip to Las Palmas and Ayestaran's newly- appointed assistants Jose Viela and David Caneda travelled instead.

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 03, 2016, with the headline 'Phil left behind at Valencia'. Print Edition | Subscribe