Giggs adjusting to ‘lonely’ job of manager after winning start with Wales
Giggs’ Wales reign began with a 6-0 win over China in Nanning.
Ryan Giggs accepts he must get used to the loneliness of management again on his Wales journey.
Giggs was all smiles after his Wales reign began with a 6-0 China Cup victory over the tournament hosts in Nanning.
But Giggs – whose only previous stint in the hot-seat was a short interim spell at Manchester United after David Moyes was sacked in 2014 – is well aware of what comes with the job.
“I learned a lot when I was (United) manager for the four games and about how lonely it was,” Giggs said.
“When you shut the door of your office and everyone else has gone home, you’re on your own.
“Of course it’s good to have good people around you who you know, and you want those people to be the ones you trust. But it can be a lonely place.”
Giggs spent two years as Louis van Gaal’s assistant at Old Trafford before ending his long association with the Red Devils in the summer of 2016.
He says he spoke to a lot of managers in the 18 months before he was appointed Wales boss, and also tried to pick up pointers from other leading figures in other sports.
“I was in between Antonio Conte (Chelsea manager) and Eddie Jones (England rugby head coach) at a dinner and trying to get stuff out of them,” Giggs said.
“But that was a nightmare actually as Eddie was trying to ask me questions about Sir Alex and I wanted to get everything out of him!
“I learned a lot under Louis, but I was always playing catch-up as a coach because I played until I was 40.
“I did my licenses while I was playing, but until you get on the pitch coaching and training every day you don’t get the experience.
“I am not a naturally outgoing person.
“That’s where the pro-licence and opposition analysis with the United players helped.
“Everything just comes with that little bit of experience.”
Giggs, by his own admission, has altered little so far after succeeding Chris Coleman, who was hugely popular with the players and guided Wales to the semi-finals of Euro 2016.
He has spoken to senior players about his principles, which include players being dressed in the correct attire and being punctual for meetings and meal times.
Another constant is that Giggs has the good fortune of being able to select Real Madrid star Gareth Bale.
The 29-year-old – who became Wales’ record goalscorer with a hat-trick against China – has been linked with a return to the Premier League this summer and ending his successful stay in Spain.
Asked whether Real remains the best place for him, Giggs replied: “Yes. I went to see him against PSG.
“When you go there the aura around the club, there are only a handful of clubs who have got that.
“So, of course, you want to stay there. He’s won three Champions League titles, the proof is in that.
“When you are at clubs like that you are always going to win things.”