6:14am Friday 25th May 2012
© Press Association 2013
Joleon Lescott has backed Gary Neville's appointment as a member of Roy Hodgson's England backroom team.
Hodgson sprang a surprise last week when it was confirmed Neville had signed a four-year contract as coach, with major responsibilities to act as liaison man between England's players and their new manager. Doubts were expressed about Neville's suitability given his status as a media pundit and long-time association with Manchester United.
Having seen his work for Sky Sports, the Manchester City defender Lescott does not believe there will be a problem. "A lot of people thought he might be biased towards Manchester United but, watching the games and hearing his opinions, I don't think he has," said Lescott.
"He probably has (said bad things about him). But he's very professional in what he does. His comments are fair and valid.
"He is level across the board, so it's easier to take the criticism if he's giving you any."
As a former team-mate of Neville's brother Phil, Lescott is acutely aware of the ultra-professional streak that runs through the family.
And Lescott understands the one-time full-back will not be afraid to offer advice when required.
"He hasn't addressed me yet," he said. "He just told me to stay away from the chocolate cake at dessert.
"If coaches and staff feel they need to address you, I am sure they will.
"But I think it's more natural for Gary to do it because he's only been out of the game a year or so."
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