Ryan Giggs expects Manchester United to bounce back immediately and return to fight for the title next season, after a dismal campaign has seen them finish outside the top four for the first time in Premier League history and which will likely lead to a first season without European football for the first time since the 1981-82 season.
Giggs was named interim manager in the wake of David Moyes’ sacking and got his managerial career off to a winning start, as United demolished Norwich 4-0 on Saturday, playing with a verve and tempo they had almost never shown this season.
Finishing seventh and missing out on the Champions League for the first in 19 years have given the press the opportunity to have a field day and United have labeled in different quarters as a team in terminal decline, a notion Giggsy doesn’t subscribe to at all.
“We won the league last year, the year before we lost it on goal difference and the year before that we won it.
“Liverpool – where did they come last year, seventh? Who’d have said they’d be where they are this year? So a lot can change. We’ve certainly got the players and we’ve got everything in place to have a successful season next year.
“It’s going to be hard, obviously, because we’ve had a tough season this year and the lads at Liverpool have improved and other teams around us have improved, so it won’t be easy. But I’m confident we’ve got the players,” said Giggs.
After Moyes’ beleaguered reign came to an end next week, Giggs made an immediate impact as caretaker manager but while the romantics amongst us would love to see him appointed permanently, Giggs himself hasn’t thought much about the future.
“Hopefully if I have got four wins, I’ll deal with it then,” he said. “But there are so many things and aspects to this job I haven’t really got time to look too far ahead. There’s so many things I have to sort out this week and my focus is on that.”
Giggs is instead more likely to be involved in the coaching staff alongside whoever gets named Manchester United manager, which will spare him the trouble of having to leave players out and might prolong his footballing career for another 12 months.
“I think that’s another conversation as well,” said Giggs. “I don’t know what I’m doing about playing, I don’t know what’s going to happen, so again it’s something that I’ll think about and decide with the appropriate people after the season.
“I’ve obviously been at the club for a long time and I know the ins and outs of the club but, like I said, there are so many other things that come with the job that I never knew did, because I’ve never been in that position before.
“They all add up during the day and they all add up during the week and it’s tough. It’s a real tough job, but one that I’m enjoying the challenge of and hopefully will continue enjoying until the end of the season.
“It was strange out there. Things like: how many times do you get up? Do you sit in your seat? What are you going to wear? It’s all things I’m not used to, even though I’ve played so many games for the club.