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Friday 19 September 2014

Giggs boosted by experience

Published 05/06/2014 | 06:22

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Ryan Giggs who only recently hung up his boots as player.

Ryan Giggs believes his experience as Manchester United's short-term interim manager was good preparation "for the next time it happens".

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The 40-year-old Welshman took charge of the club's final four matches of the season after David Moyes was sacked 10 months after succeeding Sir Alex Ferguson.

There were calls for Giggs, who made a record 963 appearances for United, to be given the job full-time but the Old Trafford hierarchy opted for the experience of current Holland boss Louis van Gaal.

Giggs will be the Dutchman's assistant and intends to get as much out of the role as he can as he takes his first steps into coaching after calling time on his playing career.

"I met Louis and the meeting went really well, I liked him instantly and I'm looking forward to working with him and learning from him," said Giggs in the ITV documentary Life of Ryan: Caretaker Manager to be screened on Thursday night.

"It's been a whirlwind and I wouldn't change it for the world.

"It was just a brilliant experience and one that I thoroughly enjoyed will be all the better for next time it happens."

In the programme Giggs said he found his role as manager stressful and admits he shed tears after their final match of the season at Southampton.

"We got off the plane at Manchester Airport and I was saying goodbye to the players, thanking them and potentially saying goodbye to a lot of players for the last time," he added.

"I'm not an emotional man - well, I didn't think I was - but my car was parked right outside and I thought 'I need to get in my car here'. I could feel myself getting emotional.

"So I get in my car and I just started crying, started getting really emotional and I think it was just a mixture of what I've just said, saying goodbye to people for maybe the last time and the pressure that I put myself under.

"I come out the airport at the lights and Nicky Butt (a former team-mate and one of Giggs' coaching assistants) just pulled up next to me and I'm thinking 'I can't let Butty know that I've just been crying' so I just give him a little wave and looked the other way and waited for the lights to go green.

"It sounds stupid now but it's just not me, it's just not me at all.

"Driving home from the airport was a release, it was a sort of strange feeling knowing that I didn't have to come in tomorrow and that it's a new beginning and it's exciting.

"For the first time in my career it's going into what is going to be a different season, a different summer."

Giggs still has regrets about his final season as a player at Old Trafford but has none about stepping into the manager's position, albeit briefly.

"It's been a difficult year playing-wise, (I've) not enjoyed the results and the playing so have I contributed? Not as much as I have done previously," added the former Wales winger.

"If I'd have retired last year I'd have gone out on a high: it was the 20th title and everything would have been rosy, but life isn't like that.

"I took the manager's job without hesitation because who turns the chance of managing Manchester United down?

"For 20 years Sir Alex used to say 'wait until all you lot are managers and you'll find out how hard it is to pick a team, to leave good players out', and I was just sat there going 'Yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever'.

"And it's like having your first baby, you can prep as much as you can but until it comes down to actually living it day in, day out, you can never prepare for it."

Giggs' wife Stacey noticed a significant change once he took the reins from Moyes.

"I did worry a little bit, because I just thought, 'Oh God, here we go, all the pressure, stress', but to be fair it hasn't been that bad," she said.

"The only change is he's not sat on his a*** watching telly all afternoon."

The final word went to Ferguson, who paid tribute to Giggs' longevity and contribution to the club.

"If you asked me the three or four best players in United's history, Giggs is definitely one, absolutely no doubt. You can argue with the rest," said the Scot.

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