Phil Neville admits his eagerness at Manchester United as first-team coach led other coaches to joke that the ex-defender would be ‘dead by the time I was 45’ if he carried on.
After leaving Old Trafford as a player in 2005, Neville returned to the club in the summer of 2013 as part of the coaching staff recruited by David Moyes.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Neville reflected on his time working under Moyes back at his old club and his excitement over the role was clearly evident.
But he admits at times the job would take over his life and that he gave his all to be part of a successful set-up at the club.
“I like to be busy,” he said.
“It was why I enjoyed being first-team coach at United so much.
“Going out on to that training field, planning training, working with the best set of lads you could ever wish to know.
“The gaffer and Steve Round [Moyes’ assistant] gave me responsibility straight away. They threw me in at the deep end and said, ‘You’ve got to be able to handle this’.
“If Man United players sniff any uncertainty or a lack of organisation, they will be at you. So you have to be on it every single day, in every single session. You always have to turn up with your A game.
“I wanted to be planning the teams and planning training for the next four games. The other coaches would tell me I’d be dead by the time I was 45 if I kept going the way I was. But I loved it.”
Neville left the club during the summer of 2014 when Louis van Gaal decided to bring in his own coaching staff.