Phil Neville is relishing the prospect of facing Everton as coach of Manchester United for the first time, reports the Guardian.
Neville spent eight years with the Toffees, and tonight comes up against them for the first time since leaving Goodison Park as a player in the summer.
Now back at Old Trafford in a coaching capacity alongside his former Everton boss David Moyes, Neville has only fond memories of his time at the club, and claims his spell there made him a better player and a better person.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with the Guardian, Neville was able to recall the moment Sir Alex Ferguson invited him to his house to inform him he would be sold.
“Inside – and this is the weird thing – it was probably one of the most magical moments of my career,” Neville says.
“We were in his front room, having a cup of tea and he was plotting my next career move, where I was going, how I would play, everything.
“I went outside and my wife was in tears. But it wasn’t done in a cold office. It was done with warmth, like going round to your Mum and Dad’s for some advice. But don’t get me wrong, I went home and cried my eyes out for 24 hours.”
Despite the tears however, Neville has only positive memories of his time at Goodison Park.
“I didn’t win a trophy with Everton but that time is just as special as my playing career at United,” he added.
“People leave United and tend to drift out of the game. I actually think I became a better player and a better person. I proved a lot of doubters wrong. I was there on my own. It was a culture shock, being out of the bubble of Manchester United, but I thrived. It was the making of me.”