Belfast Telegraph

Giggs vows to win over his critics by inspiring Wales to more success

 

By Phil Blanche

New Wales manager Ryan Giggs has pledged to silence his doubters "by winning games".

Giggs was unveiled as Chris Coleman's successor at a Vale of Glamorgan press conference yesterday after agreeing a four-year deal to take in the 2020 European Championship and 2022 World Cup tournaments.

But despite being the most decorated player in English football after an illustrious career at Manchester United, Giggs' appointment has not been universally welcomed by Wales fans.

Giggs captained Wales and won 64 caps from 1991 to 2007, but his commitment was regularly questioned as he did not play a friendly until 2000.

Asked how he would win the sceptics over, Giggs said: "I'll do that by winning games. As long as we're winning games those questions won't come up.

"But I recognise the question, it's up to me to give it my all and I will. I played 64 times for my country - 65 if you count the game against the Basques, when I scored the winner - and I will be the same as a manager as I was a player.

"I will bring professionalism and organisation and have a bit of fun along the way.

"When I played for my country I give it my all. I loved playing for my country and now it's probably the proudest moment of my life to lead the Welsh nation into the Euros and the World Cup.

"We've not qualified for a World Cup since 1958, I want to get this group of players there and to be part of it."

Giggs spent four games in interim charge of United at the end of the 2013-14 season following the sacking of David Moyes.

But Wales represents his first permanent job in management after he missed out on the Swansea post in October 2016.

He succeeds Coleman, who guided Wales to the semi-finals of Euro 2016 - the country's first major tournament for 58 years - but has yet to decide on the make-up of his backroom staff.

Giggs said he will speak to Coleman's assistant Osian Roberts - who was an unsuccessful candidate for the job alongside Craig Bellamy and Mark Bowen - over whether the FAW's technical director will be part of his coaching staff.

"I know Osh and the passion he has for Welsh football, we will speak," Giggs said. "I need to think about it (backroom staff) sooner rather than later, but there's nothing concrete.

"I've got a few ideas, but it's been a whirlwind 24 hours and it was hard to approach people because I didn't have the job.

"But the management team and the players will make the country proud, just like they were two years ago at the Euros."

Giggs' first game in charge of Wales will be against China in Nanning on March 22.

That will be the first of two matches Wales will play at the China Cup, while Giggs will attend the Uefa Nations League draw in Lausanne on January 24.

Although he revealed he has spoken to his former United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, Giggs promised to be his own man.

"I'd be stupid not to speak to Sir Alex," Giggs said. "He's one of the greatest managers, if not the greatest manager, that's ever lived. I've spoken to him and I'll speak to him in more depth."

Belfast Telegraph

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