Belfast Telegraph

Fergie backs Giggs to play on

Sir Alex Ferguson has challenged Michael Carrick to become the main man at Manchester United - and confirmed Ryan Giggs will be asked to extend his stay at Old Trafford into an incredible 23rd season.

Giggs extended his record of scoring in every Premier League campaign with his goal in Wednesday's 5-0 win at Fulham.

"I think Ryan can play another year," Ferguson said. "There is no evidence at this moment in time that his energy, stamina or speed are decreasing. In fact, it's exactly the same as it was the last two or three years. It's amazing."

Now 38, Giggs has been on a rolling one-year contract since he hit the 30 mark. Though long-time team-mates Paul Scholes and Gary Neville have both retired in the past 12 months, Giggs seems to go on and on.

Ferguson added: "I know it's mid-season now and it all depends on what Ryan thinks about his future, too.

"He knows he can't go on forever, we know he can't go on forever, but he can play for another year."

Although Giggs will continue to be an integral figure at United, it is to Carrick Ferguson is looking to fill the void left by Scholes' exit.

"Michael's been one of our best players over the past few weeks," Ferguson said. "He's been instrumental in what's happening to the team at the moment. He's grabbed the nettle. In some ways, he's maybe seen the departure of Paul Scholes as his opportunity to be the main man in midfield."

And not before time, according to Carrick's manager.

"It's time Michael became the pivotal player of our team," Ferguson said. "We've always known he's got that in him."


From Belfast Telegraph