Belfast Telegraph

Giggs undecided about future but he has appetite for management

By Paul Hirst

Ryan Giggs' brief spell as interim Manchester United manager has made him determined to seek a long career in management.

Giggs' four-match spell in charge of United ends tomorrow when he takes his team to Southampton.

Since his appointment, Giggs has won two matches, he has seen an 18-year-old in James Wilson bag two goals on his debut at Old Trafford, and he has spoken about feeling "10 feet tall" when he walked down the touchline in his club suit.

There have been lows too. Thousands of United fans streamed out of Old Trafford in the last 10 minutes of the disappointing home defeat to Sunderland, and Giggs has endured sleepless nights because of the trauma he felt when dropping team-mates, many of whom he regards as friends.

But when asked whether his short reign had given him more of an appetite for a career in management, Giggs said: "Yes.

"Sometimes you probably think I could do without it and other times it gives you so much pleasure.

"After the (Sunderland) game you probably think you could do without it, but you probably learn more from defeat and not doing so well, just like when you are a player.

"I have enjoyed the whole experience. You get a satisfaction when everything goes right, although when you lose you are angry and disappointed.

"But it has definitely helped me prepare for what will come after my playing career."

Holland coach Louis van Gaal this week said he would "love" to become manager of Manchester United – a club he regards as "the biggest in the world".

What role Giggs might play under the Dutchman, who could be appointed next week, remains to be seen. That decision will not be made until well after tomorrow's game though.

"Obviously there is huge speculation, but nothing has been announced yet and my job is to prepare the team for Southampton," Giggs said.

"I am sure there will be an announcement (on the new manager) soon and maybe I can comment on it then, but at the moment it is just speculation."

Giggs thinks Van Gaal will be under a lot more pressure to succeed when he takes over.

Having inherited a team that had already failed to qualify for the Champions League, Giggs admits there was little expectation surrounding him when he took over from David Moyes, who was sacked just 10 months into a six-year contract.

"There is not really a lot of pressure on me at the moment because it is just four games and we can't really win anything," said Giggs, who came off the bench to make his 963rd United appearance in the 3-1 win over Hull.

"We can only qualify for the Europa League and we will carry on trying to do that."

United will only scrape into the Europa League on goal difference if they beat Saints and Tottenham lose at home to Aston Villa.

United will be without Wayne Rooney (groin) and Phil Jones (shoulder) for the trip to the south coast, but Giggs insists the pair will be fit enough to make the England World Cup squad, which is announced on Monday.

Two more players in the running for a place in the squad are the Southampton duo of Luke Shaw and Adam Lallana.

Lallana has broken into the England reckoning following his debut in November while Shaw has been so good this year that he could displace Ashley Cole.

"They are both exciting players," Giggs added.

"Lallana has been about for a bit. He has been at the club right through the different leagues and Luke Shaw has come to the fore this year and has done really well."

Meanwhile, Southampton boss Mauricio Pochettino refused to look beyond tomorrow's season-ending match with United as speculation continues over his future.

The Argentinian has guided Saints to an eighth-placed finish in the Barclays Premier League this term, one place behind last season's champions United, with his management and his players' ability attracting admirers.

"I have the same goals, the same wishes," Pochettino said.

"Of course I want to be successful, to be ambitious and always to improve as a manager.

"This Sunday when the game finishes with Manchester United a project of five years that has been happening will come to an end.

"It's up the board to discuss with me the new project that will be in place starting next season.

Belfast Telegraph


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