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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Gary Neville: Valencia needed Pako Ayestaran on coaching team

Pako Ayestaran had been out of work after leaving Santos Laguna in November.

Valencia boss Gary Neville hopes the appointment of Rafa Benitez's former assistant Pako Ayestaran will "fill a void" at the club.

Valencia announced on Saturday that Ayestaran, who helped Benitez to title success at the Mestalla in 2002 and 2004, was returning to the club's first-team staff as assistant coach.

Los Che already have Phil Neville and Miguel Angel Angulo as assistant coaches, as well as "team delegate" Voro, goalkeeper coach Jose Manuel Ochotorena and psychologist Julio Figueroa.

However, Gary Neville said after Saturday's 2-1 La Liga victory over Espanyol that Ayestaran, who also worked with Benitez at clubs including Tenerife and Liverpool, would be a valuable addition.

"Pako's been here before," he said. "This isn't to replace any of the current staff. I'm delighted with what they're doing.

"I didn't come here with any staff -- probably the only head coach to ever come into a football club without anybody.

"Over the last six or seven weeks I've assessed the situation and Pako's name was first mentioned and talked about pre-Christmas. I felt we needed to fill a void within the coaching team."

After spending the majority of his coaching career as an assistant, Ayestaran took charge at Mexican club Tecos in 2013 in the Mexican second tier before enjoying a brief but highly successful stint with Maccabi Tel Aviv, where he won the league, State Cup and Toto Cup.

In August, he was named head coach of Liga MX champions Santos Laguna but left in November by mutual consent.


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