FORMER Salford City boss Anthony Johnson has recalled the first time he met Gary Neville… and it wasn’t what you’d expect.
Johnson was in charge at Salford from July 2015 until May 2018 alongside his partner and co-manager Bernard Morley.
The pair were hired by Neville and the rest of the Class of 92 soon after they’d taken over the club.
And they helped Salford secure promotion from the Northern Premier League North Division in their first season.
But it wasn’t something that Neville thought they’d be able to achieve.
Johnson recalls being stunned in his first meeting with the former Man Utd and England star when he told them not to worry about promotion.
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Speaking on the I Had Trials Once podcast, he said: “We were told by Gary on our first meeting, he was abroad and we had a Zoom call.
“Scholesy [Paul Scholes] were there, Phil [Neville] were there, [chairman] Karen [Baird], me, Bernard, and he said ‘don’t worry about next season, get in the play-offs, have a good run, but find out what you want for next year, then we’ll have a go at it'.
“I remember thinking ‘what the f*** are we doing here then? What the f*** are you talking about? Really? We won promotion from this league last year (with Ramsbottom), beaten Darlington three times’.”
Johnson and Morley had a stunning stint with Salford, securing three promotions during their time with the club.
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But they ultimately left just a few days after they booked the team a place in the National League in 2019.
Salford now play in League Two and are managed former Man United U23’s coach Neil Wood.
Whilst Johnson has returned to the lower leagues and is currently in charge of Northern Premier League Premier Division outfit Radcliffe FC.
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