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The 37-year-old took his first training session as an England coach on Thursday and has been praised by the Manchester City man, despite dishing out dietary advice

Joleon Lescott has hailed new England coach Gary Neville’s appointment, despite being told by the former Three Lions defender to “stay away from the chocolate cake”.

Former Manchester United and England full-back Neville joined Roy Hodgson’s coaching staff last week following a season in which he has been widely praised for his television punditry work.

Lescott, speaking in Thursday’s press conference after a training session at Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium, revealed the new coach has already been dishing out the dietary advice.
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“He just told me to stay away from the chocolate cake,” he told reporters. “It was for dessert, but he told me to keep away from it.

“I obviously know his brother Phil more, from when I was at Everton, but I know they’re both natural-born winners.

“Gary is definitely someone I respect, what he has achieved in football and the way he conducts himself.

“He’s very professional in what he does and sacrificed a lot to get to where he did, so he is someone I look up to.

“He gets his message across and addresses everyone in the squad individually.

“He passes on his experience of games he’s been involved in over the years. So I think it’s a great addition.”

Neville took media training after retiring from football, and has quickly established himself as one of the most insightful analysts of the game.

And Lescott believes the 37-year-old’s approach and knowledge can only help the squad as they prepare for Euro 2012.

“It’s nice because I’ve not worked with him before,” he added. “I’ve enjoyed his punditry over the last season so hopefully he can bring that humour to the squad.

“He’s probably said a few bad things about me this season – but he’s even done that with his brother!

“But his comments are fair and valid. I think a lot of people thought he might be biased towards United but I don’t think he has.”

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