How much of a benefit is it to have Ryan and Phil Neville on the coaching staff?
It’s fantastic. I’ve worked with Phil for a long time, both at Everton and for England so I know him very well. He’s a great addition to the squad. He has great enthusiasm and he wants to progress in his coaching career – he’s pestering me every single day for ideas and information! His work ethic is infectious and he’s a great guy to have around. To have Ryan as a player/coach is terrific. Somebody asked me the other day who is the best footballer I’ve ever worked with and coached… I’ve been lucky to work with some fantastic players in world football, but my immediate answer was Ryan Giggs and I’ve only worked with him for a few weeks! He’s arguably the best Premier League player there has ever been, coupled with others like Paul Scholes, but working so closely with Ryan makes you realise even more what a top footballer he is. From the other perspective having him on the staff is going to be vital when it comes to being able to confide in him and ask for his opinion on things because he has that experience of the United way and what it takes to win here. We’re getting the best of both worlds having him as a player and a coach.
We’re obviously away for a while on tour, but presumably this period is a great opportunity for you to get to know the players on and off the pitch?
Absolutely. It’s provided all of the coaches with a chance to get to know the different personalities in the squad and they can get to know us as well. It’s allowing us to build up that trust and relationship that you need to help the club going forward.