Salford City have today confirmed that Manchester United coach, Neil Wood, is their new manager, after Gary Bowyer was sacked earlier this week after just a year in charge. After finishing 10th this season, and not in the challenge for promotion to League One, Gary Neville and co., he became the third manager in two years to be axed.
Wood started his football career at United but never made a first team appearance for the club. After several loan spells, he played for the likes of Blackburn and Oldham before hanging up his boots and joining the coaching staff at Villa.
Having joined the Centre of Excellence as an eight-year-old, under the guidance of Nobby Stiles, he always dreamed of returning to United and that wish came true in 2019. He has spent the last three years in charge of United’s U-23s and last season his team beat Salford’s first team 6-0 in the EFL Trophy. Anthony Elanga, James Garner and Hannibal were the among the players to feature.
Speaking to Salford’s official website, he spoke about how much he enjoyed his time at United but is looking forward to his first managerial stint.
I’m very excited for the challenge, I think it’s going to be really good going forward, it’s going to be a new challenge for me but one that I’m looking forward to.
I’ve spent a lot of years coaching, I’ve been a head coach for the last three years at Manchester United and this was naturally my next progression so it’s an exciting time. I’ve had a great time [at United], some amazing players came through and it’s been a really proud time for me to see young players develop and improve, and go on to make their debut for the first team at Manchester United or move on and play in the leagues.
Most people will say I like to attack, I think my type of team is attacking teams. I like to improve players, I like to improve the team, and I think they’ll say they’re organised and hard to beat so all the things that you’d want somebody to say about your team.
We have to create a culture of everyone pulling in the right direction, I think that’s one of the main things for the Club, the staff, the players, and the fans play such an important role in that as well. We want to create a team, a Club, that they’re proud of, that they want to come and watch, and we want to create a team that’s entertaining for them to come and watch.