Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Giggs takes things in his stride

Ryan Giggs is not allowing himself to get frustrated

Ryan Giggs is not getting frustrated despite his lack of first-team appearances at Manchester United so far this season.

Giggs needs one more outing in the Premier League to reach 600 matches in the competition. It could come against Wigan at Old Trafford on Saturday chalking up another landmark in an outstanding career, which already sees him as the most decorated player in English football history, by far.

Yet Giggs' contribution so far this term has been limited to a single substitutes' appearance against Fulham on August 25 that lasted a mere nine minutes. It is not the kind of impact the veteran Welshman is used to making. But Giggs realises irritation at this stage would be futile. He said: "I am not frustrated."

Giggs continued: "Playing less and less is something I'm used to, especially at the beginning of the season. It's a squad game and over the last four or five years I've played my share of games. You've just got to bide your time and when you get your chance take it."

Sir Alex Ferguson suggested Giggs could play on for another two years, which would allow him to join the elite band of outfield players who have extended their careers beyond a 40th birthday. Giggs is not putting any timescale on retirement though - he is enjoying himself far too much.

"I maintain everything that I've said about carrying on playing," he said. "As long as I'm enjoying it, playing my part and playing well then I'll carry on. When it does happen, getting to 600 Premier League games will be something I'm proud of. It's a great achievement.

"But I if I'm honest I don't really take too much notice of things like that. Hopefully I can celebrate it with a win - that's the most important thing."

As the years have ticked by, Giggs has taken an increasing interest in his younger team-mates. Tom Cleverley is the latest to benefit from his input, something Giggs believes is a vital part of handling the pressures that come with being a Manchester United player.

"It's something I take seriously because once upon a time I was that 16-year-old trying to get into the first team and I got a lot of help," he said. "The likes of Bryan Robson, Steve Bruce, Mark Hughes and Brian McClair all helped me in my early days. I know how I felt when they were speaking to me - I listened.

"It's something I'm comfortable with. The experienced players have a duty to help the young ones when they come in and train with the first team or make it into the squad or the team. It's part of being a Manchester United player."

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