Gary Neville was given brutally honest verdict on his MNF debut by former Man Utd teammate

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Gary Neville has been told “he was s***” during his early days as a pundit on Sky Sports, by a former Manchester United team-mate. Ex-United defender Neville has become of the best pundits in world football in recent years, but according to some, things haven’t always been that way.

Neville made his Monday Night Football debut in 2011 and stumbled on his words when interviewing former Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini.

And Nicky Butt has revealed that he was not impressed by Neville’s punditry when he first took up the role.

“As a manager, you’ll have tough times and get cr*p off the press. I know that – and I’m fine with the media,” Butt told The Athletic.

“I wasn’t when I started in my first interviews – or my first managerial speeches, but you learn. I remember seeing Nev on Sky Sports at first and he was s***, and I told him.

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“I wasn’t when I started in my first interviews – or my first managerial speeches, but you learn. I remember seeing Nev on Sky Sports at first and he was s***, and I told him.

“Now he’s the best, by a mile. And you have to be prepared for questions – journalists have a job to do too.”

Neville has admitted himself that his debut incident was an embarrassing one, which he would rather forget.

“To this day, whenever the producer who did that show speaks to me, he says, “Hi Roberto! I bet you never thought you’d be interviewed by me,” Neville recently told Sky Sports.

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“For four or five years, I always hated that interview section at the end of the show with a player or manager, but they always wanted me to get involved or ask a question.

“In the last few years, I have felt more comfortable with it, Friday Night Football, Monday Night Football and, more recently, The Football Show in this period. I’m more comfortable asking questions and reacting off what people say.

“It all comes down to experience but that was just embarrassing. My Bury accent came out and everything, deary me.”

Meanwhile, Neville’s former team-mate Butt has turned his attention to coaching following his retirement from professional football in 2011.

Butt was briefly the manager of United’s Under-23 team, before he was promoted to head of first-team development in 2019.

However, Butt left United altogether in March after nine years doing various coaching roles within the academy.

And the Class of ’92 star has said he is open to coaching abroad and feels showing character is the key to being where you want to be as a manager.

“Yes. I’d go anywhere in the world,” he said.

“I’ve left Manchester before. I watch my former team-mates closely – Wayne (Rooney, the Derby County manager), Phil (Neville, the former England Women boss now in charge at Inter Miami in MLS).

“They took themselves out of their comfort zone. They show character and that gets you what you deserve.”

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