TOURNAMENT – Barclays Premier League
MATCH – Norwich (Home) at Old Trafford
DATE & TIME – 26th April 2014, 17:30 GMT (22:00 IST)
Pre-Match MUTV Interview of Ryan Giggs
Q. Well Ryan, first of all, I suppose it must have been a whirlwind week for you.
Giggs: Yeah, that’s exactly how it’s been. From Tuesday morning, they’d asked me to look after the team for the remaining four games which I had no hesitation in saying yes to. And from then on, really, just, yeah, crazy week.
Q. What does it mean to you to be the manager, albeit on an interim basis, but the manager of Manchester United?
Giggs: I’ve got to say, its the proudest moment of my life. I’ve supported Manchester United all my life. It’s been the biggest part of my life since I was 13… 14, since I signed the schoolboy forms. And ever since then, it’s been the biggest part of my life. So, I’m proud, I’m happy, a little bit nervous – really, just like playing, can’t wait for the game Saturday.
Q. Is it going to be a proud moment for you? You’ve worn the shirt so many times, you’ve sat on the bench as a coach, but to actually walk up that line as a first-team manager for a Premier League game at Old Trafford – is that going to be a proud moment for you?
Giggs: To be honest with you, I can’t wait for 5:30 Saturday to be walking out. I know the place will be rocking, I know the fans will get behind us. It’ll be a moment that I’ll wake up and look forward to. The team have looked great all week, they’ve looked sharp. And, like I said, I can’t wait for 5:30 and the game starting. Just like as if I was a player – you prepare yourself the best that you can, waiting for that moment.
Q. Was one of your first calls to Paul Scholes? And to see Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt and Phil Neville – everyone knows the story, and to see all of you there involved is a special thing.
Giggs: Yeah, of course Phil was already involved; so was Woodsy, and they’ve stayed on. Nicky was involved with the reserves, so I asked him to come over and help us with the first team which he was more than happy to do. And yeah, the phone call was to Scholesy because I know how much the club means to these people. They feel about the club the same way as I do. And I know n the short space of time, they’ll give it everything to make it a success and hopefully, end what has been a frustrating season on a high.
Q. Have you just been told it’s four games? What happens at the end of the season? I suppose you don’t really know, it’s just to see out the season.
Giggs: No, my mindset is just on first Norwich and then the remaining three games after that really. And after that, who knows what happens?
Q. And how have the players responded to you? Are they calling you gaffer?
Giggs: (laughs) I’ve had to take a bit of stick, yeah – ‘Where’re you gonna park?’, ‘What do we call you?’. I’ve had a gaffer sign on my place in the changing room. But, no, they’ve been great. The reaction in training’s been good, it’s been sharp. And that’s what I’ve tried to do – just try and make it relaxed, enjoy yourself. Like I said, let’s try to have a good end to what has been a frustrating and disappointing season.
Q. What has been your main message to the lads, though, for the final few games?
Giggs: That I trust you, that I know what you’re capable of. Go out there and show it on Saturday. And give the fans something to shout about – entertain them, score goals, make tackles, play with speed, play with tempo. And that’s what they’ve done in training so, they’ll take that out into the game on Saturday.
Q. On that point, quite often, callers to MUTV say we’d like to see United playing what they call the United way – exciting, swashbuckling, wingers – is that your philosophy?
Giggs: It’s my philosophy and it’s what I’ve grown up with – it’s Man United’s philosophy. So, yeah, I’ll take that into the game on Saturday. We’ve got the players to do it. We’ve got great players in that dressing room who are winners, who are used to winning . They’ve got that winning mentality. Yeah, they’ll show that Saturday and like, I’ve tried to do, enjoy it! I’ll try to enjoy it as much as I can. I don’t know if I’ll will as much as if I’m playing because I’ll be a little bit nervous. But, no, go out and enjoy it.
Q. Do the players, though, share some responsibility for a season that, by our standards, hasn’t gone well; hasn’t gone to plan?
Giggs: I think everyone shares responsibility – you win together and you lose together, it’s as simple as that. And everyone involved this season haven’t been to the standards of Manchester United. And, yeah, in this short space of time, we’ll do something about that.
Q. Have you spoken to Sir Alex at all? Has he given you any advice in this short space of time?
Giggs: Yeah, obviously. I played under Sir Alex for so long. He was the first person to call because, I wanted advice and I wanted to know what to expect, and who better to ring? Why wouldn’t I?
Q. What’s almost got lost in all of this is that there is a game against Norwich City. The game itself, they come here in serious trouble, does that make them dangerous?
Giggs: Yeah, it does because they’re fighting for something. Around this time of the season, there’s always someone fighting for something – whether it’s to be getting into Europe, whether it’s to be getting into the Champions League, whether it’s to be staying up. And, its dangerous because they’re fighting for their lives. We won’t underestimate Norwich definitely because of the situation that they’re in. They’re a good team and they ended the game last week against Liverpool really well. But we’re Man United. We’re at home. I expect to win, and I expect to play well.
Q. You mention being at home. You’ve been excellent away from home, but at home, it’s been a problem this year for whatever reason. How important is it in this final three home games that the fans at least leave on a bit of a high?
Giggs: Yeah, I want the fans to enjoy the end of the season. And like you say, three home games, it’s a great chance for the players. It’s obviously a great place to play football. And that’s what I want to bring to these three games – for the home fans to have something to shout about.