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Premier League

Gary Neville will stay at Manchester United for the season

Gary Neville has confirmed his intention to remain within the Manchester United fold for the remainder of the season.

The 35-year-old announced his retirement with immediate effect last night, bringing an end to a stellar career that brought him eight Premier League titles, a Champions League triumph and 85 England caps.

In an extensive interview with MUTV, Neville confirmed it had been a decision he had been thinking about for some time and his performance against West Brom on New Year's Day turned out to signal the end.

However, although there has been speculation about a media career with Sky, or a place in Sir Alex Ferguson's backroom team, Neville does not have any concrete plans, although he will stay with the Red Devils in the short-term to help out behind the scenes.

"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," he said.

"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 definitely want to try and continue my relationship with this club, even if it is just as a fan.

"But I want to have 12 months to gather my thoughts. I don't want to rush into another relationship quickly.

"I want to ease off a little bit and just relax. I need to chill out."

It is anticipated Neville will be granted a testimonial at the end of the season in recognition of his contribution to the United cause.

The widespread belief is that Neville was a fairly average player, who reached his status in the game through tenacity and hard work.

Yet such a description does scant justice to his talents.

His overlapping runs for David Beckham for instance often went unnoticed, yet they provided his great friend with the space to execute his impressive crossing abilities.

Yet even Neville admits he had to reach the highest level every week to cut it alongside fellow 'Class of 92' members Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs.

"I relied upon qualities that weren't technical or skilful to get to where I did," he said.

"I like to think there is a level of intelligence and physically, I felt like I could run all day. But mentally I had to do whatever it took to win a game for Manchester United.

"I was determined to win and felt to succeed was the most important thing.

"That was probably my greatest asset.

"Some players can play at 100% and drop by 3% and be okay. With me it was 100% or nothing. There was no in between."

And on that day at The Hawthorns, when Neville should have been sent off for a tackle on Graham Dorrans, he knew it was time to go.

"After that game on New Year's Day I felt I had reached the end," he said.

"It fact, it wasn't after that game, it was during.

"I had been thinking about it for a month or so before that.

"You don't just give up after one bad game. I had enough of them over the last 20 years to know that can happen.

"But 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.

"But sometimes you get a feeling in your mind that you just can't go again and that time had come for me.

"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."