Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 22 November 2014

Ferguson backs Giggs for United job

Ryan Giggs, pictured, has been praised by Sir Alex Ferguson
Ryan Giggs, pictured, has been praised by Sir Alex Ferguson

Sir Alex Ferguson believes Ryan Giggs is ready to lead Manchester United.

The club's former manager is set to have a say in who succeeds David Moyes on a full-time basis, with Giggs handed the position on an interim role until the end of the season.

United are believed to see Giggs as a potential manager of the club a few years down the line, but they are currently searching for a more experienced successor to Moyes, which could mean a boss of the calibre of Louis van Gaal or Carlo Ancelotti.

But many United fans want 40-year-old Giggs to take the role on now despite his lack of managerial experience.

Ferguson is convinced the player he brought through the United ranks over two decades ago has the qualities required to take charge of the first team.

The Scot said at a function earlier this week, according to the Daily Telegraph: "I think that he is the one man they should go to really.

"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 and I was so pleased he brought Paul Scholes back in, and Nicky Butt of course - two great professionals."

Ferguson, who stepped down at the end of last season and played a key role in bringing in Moyes, can see the likes of Giggs, Scholes and Butt having long-term senior positions at Old Trafford.

He added: "It's a very difficult industry to say you can have succession planning. But in the case of what we were doing in the last few years, with bringing Nicky Butt into the fold, Ryan into the fold, Paul Scholes into the fold, and Gary Neville was offered a position but he decided to go into television. He could easily come back."

Ferguson, who played a key part in knocking Liverpool off their perch following their success during the 1980s, was immediately consulted when Giggs took the job.

"He was the first person I picked up the phone to," Giggs said on Friday.

"Why wouldn't I? He's been everything you can as a manager - a young manager, an experienced manager, a successful manager.

"He's given me advice and told me he's always at the end of the phone so that has given me a lot of comfort. It's good to know I can turn to the manager if I ever need him."

Giggs intends to use his time as manager to prove he is good enough to take the position on a full-time basis.

The Welshman did not look out of his depth when he addressed the media for the first time since being appointed.

Giggs, who has been taking his UEFA Pro Licence exams, is pledging to bring back the style of play that United are renowned for - a high-tempo game of rapid attacking football and clinical finishing.

"I've got a chance to show what I can do and what I am capable of as a manager in a short space of time," said Giggs, whose first game in charge is against Norwich on Saturday.

Giggs appears open to the idea of talking with the board about taking charge, or at least having some sort of role within the new coach's set-up, in the summer.

"It can happen [young managers getting the job]. That's not something I'm thinking about at the moment," Giggs said.

"That's another conversation to be had in three weeks, six weeks or whenever in the future."

Every word that came out of Giggs' mouth on Friday was music to the ears of the fans who had become disgruntled with life under Moyes - the man who left the club seventh in the league and out of the Champions League for next season, the first time they have missed out in almost two decades.

Although the club press officer mistakenly introduced Giggs as "David" at the start of the media conference, there was little mention of the Scot at Carrington.

The message on Friday was clear - United have moved on from Moyes. A compensation package has been agreed, the prominent members of his backroom staff are gone and journalists were forbidden from asking questions about him.

"My philosophy is the Manchester United philosophy," said Giggs, who won 13 Premier League titles under Ferguson.

"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.

"I want to see goals, tackles, players taking players on and getting the crowd up.

"I want the passion that should come with being a Manchester United player.

"I want the players to enjoy themselves and give the fans something to smile about in the remaining four games.

"It's been a frustrating season and I want to end it on a high.

"The stadium will be bouncing."

Giggs has collected a total of 35 winner's medals since signing a professional contract with the club in 1990.

"This club is all about winning trophies," said Giggs, who has played a record 962 times for United.

"We've not managed to do that this season but we've had seasons like that in the past and always come back.

"That's the thing about this club. We always come back and we will."

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