Neville retired in fear of being United 'passenger'
Gary Neville has confirmed his intention to remain at Manchester United for the remainder of the season, as Owen Hargreaves' exclusion from United's Champions League squad leaves it doubtful that he will play for the club again.
Neville revealed that he had resolved during United's fortuitous 2-1 win at West Bromwich Albion on New Year's Day, during which the 35-year-old right-back was lucky not to be sent off, that his playing days were over as he felt himself becoming "a passenger".
Of the game at The Hawthorns – already identified by the Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger as an example of United's "lucky" unbeaten start to the season – Neville said: "I felt I had reached the end. In fact, it wasn't after that game, it was during. I had been thinking about it for a month or so before that. The way I felt at the start of the season, when I started picking up injuries, there is only so many times you can come back.
"Your mentality is such at this club that you are always willing to go again," he added. "But sometimes you get a feeling in your mind that you just can't go again and that time had come for me."
Neville has said that he has no intention to move into full-time coaching or management, which reinforces the possibility that he will consider a role in television.
"You don't just give up after one bad game," he said. "I had enough of them over the last 20 years to know that can happen. But in the previous two seasons I had played 25-30 games and there was always a period where I felt I was contributing. Once you have lost that and you know it was not quite right, you don't want to be a passenger.
"I am going to stay at the club until the end of the season and do some coaching because I have got my coaching badge to complete but at this moment in time my mindset isn't to go into coaching or management full-time. I have been working for a football club every day for 20 years. I don't want to rush into another relationship quickly."
Hargreaves, who has been suffering with knee problems for two years, was named in the starting line-up against Wolves in November but sustained a hamstring injury in the first few minutes. He has not played since.
Latest in Sport
Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Manchester United? 'My next move will be a surprise' says PSG striker
Ashes 2015 live: Latest score and updates with Australia on the brink of humiliating defeat after Jimmy Anderson claims David Warner wicket
Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey
Ashes 2015: Steve Finn claims five wickets as England close in on beating Australia in third Test inside three days at Edgbaston
Mario Balotelli told he has no future at Liverpool as striker trains away from first-team
- 1 Top Gear team of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May officially heading to Amazon Prime for new car show
- 2 Stuart Baggs dies: Apprentice star 'The Brand' found dead aged 27
- 3 As the world mourned the death of Cecil the lion, five endangered elephants were killed in Kenya
- 4 How to cancel Amazon Prime: after Top Gear hiring, how to leave premium service
- 5 What is halal meat and why is it controversial?
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn says 'we can learn a great deal from Karl Marx'
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Public anger after French sunbather beaten up by gang for wearing a bikini in Reims park
Labour leadership: New poll shows party is now even 'less electable' than under Ed Miliband
While we fixate on Calais, the UK Government is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'