Saturday, April 26, 2014 6:05 am
Ryan Giggs takes charge of his first Manchester United match Saturday, with Alex Ferguson suggesting his temporary role as manager should be made long-term.
Giggs will take charge of United’s remaining four games of the season as the club begins their search for a permanent successor to manager David Moyes, whose dismissal was confirmed on Tuesday.
The 40-year-old will lead the team for the first time against relegation-threatened Norwich City at Old Trafford on Saturday, adding another chapter to his remarkable United story, which has seen him become English football’s most decorated player in almost 1,000 appearances for the club.
“It’s a club I have supported all my life and I’ve been associated with for 25 years and it’s a proud moment for me and one I will enjoy,” said Giggs as he addressed his first media conference in his managerial role.
“I’ve enjoyed the week and I’m proud more than anything. It’s probably the proudest moment of my career and one I’m going to enjoy for the remaining two-and-a-half weeks of the season and bring back some smiles on to the faces of the fans.
– ‘I can’t wait’ –
“I can’t wait for Saturday to come and 5.30pm (1630 GMT) against Norwich. I know the stadium will be bouncing. The players have been really good in training this week and they are all excited as well.
Manchester United legend Alex Ferguson, the man who Moyes briefly replaced, believes Giggs should take up the managerial position on a full-time basis, according to a report on the Daily Telegraph website on Friday.
“I think that he is the one man they should go to really,” the Telegraph quoted Ferguson saying of Giggs at a charity function earlier this week.
“He’s got 20-odd years of experience at Manchester United. I signed him as a kid at 13 years of age. He’s gone through the gamut of emotions at the club — he’s experienced all the highs and lows.
“He knows exactly what’s needed to be a Manchester United player.”
But whether Giggs himself will be quite so keen to have Ferguson’s support is another matter.
For it was largely on the word of former United manager Ferguson, who retired at the end of last season as British football’s most successful boss, that Moyes was appointed to succeed him at Old Trafford, with his fellow Scot dubbed ‘The Chosen One’ as a result by the club’s fans.
However, this week seventh-placed United sacked Moyes just 10 months into a six-year contract after it became mathematically impossible for the reigning English champions, who will finish a trophy-less campaign with their lowest points total of the Premier League era, to qualify for next season’s lucrative European Champions League.
– ‘Passion, speed, tempo’ –
Giggs was previously operating in a player-coach role and although it’s not thought he was given much of a brief under Moyes, Giggs expressed his gratitude to the former Everton manager for elevating him to the coaching staff.
“I’d like to thank David for giving me my first chance in coaching,” he added. “I’ll always remember when he rang me in the summer and asked me to come on board.”
Giggs admitted:”It’s been a frustrating season for everyone. We win together and lose together and in these remaining four games, I want to bring the positivity back.”
He still considers himself a player and joked that he had used his temporary position of power to award himself a new five-year contract.
“I want players to play with passion, speed, tempo and be brave with imagination, all the things that are expected of a Manchester United player: to work hard but, most of all, enjoy it,” he said.