| 17.8°C Dublin

Giggs going for Europa

The Europa League may seem like a massive step down to Manchester United fans, but Ryan Giggs wants to make sure the club are in it next year.

Giggs has been handed the role of interim player-manager following the sacking of David Moyes.

Thanks to a record of 11 defeats in 34 matches, United have failed to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in 19 years, but playing in the Europa League next term is still a possibility.

United will qualify for the competition if they overtake Spurs, who are six points ahead but have played one match more.

Another way in which United could qualify for the Europa League is if Arsenal finish fifth and win their FA Cup final against Hull next month.

The Europa League is nowhere near as well-respected as the Champions League in England, but Giggs still wants United to be part of it next year.

"I want to win (the final) four games. We are relying on other teams dropping points but I think it is important you have European football at Old Trafford," he said.

"I want European nights at Old Trafford, it is as simple as that."

The first of Giggs' four matches in charge comes this evening when United take on Norwich at Old Trafford.

The Canaries, whose final two games are against Arsenal and Chelsea, are just two points above the relegation zone after four straight losses.

But Giggs has told his players the game will be no walkover.

"They are fighting for their lives so we won't underestimate them," the Welshman said.

"They ended the (3-2 defeat) against Liverpool really well. But we are Manchester United and we expect to win."

Giggs has an almost fully-fit squad to choose from for the match.

"Only Rafael and Robin (van Persie) are injured," Giggs said. "Everyone else is fit."


Meanwhile, rival Premier League managers have criticised United's decision to sack Moyes after just 10 months.

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini expressed surprise over the timing of Moyes' dismissal while Arsene Wenger warned the high turnover of top-flight coaches could affect the quality of coaching in the English game.

Pellegrini said: "It is a pity for David Moyes because I think he is a very good manager, that is why Manchester United chose him to continue the work that Alex Ferguson did for so many years.

"But I don't know the reasons they have.

"It is always not good for the club to sack a manager who has a contract who is just starting his work – and very difficult work after Alex Ferguson – and a contract for six years."

Wenger, now far and away the longest-serving Premier League manager having taken charge of the north London club in 1996, was dismayed that United had not stuck with Moyes and warned such decisions could have wider consequences.

"If you want quality people in any job, you need to give them time to develop and to become good, or people with the quality will not come into our job any more," he said.

"The average (job life) expectancy of an English professional club at the moment is 11 months, and that is quite unstable."