Sunday 21 January 2018

Nicky Butt: Taking charge of Manchester United will be a proud moment for boys of ’92

Manchester United's Nicky Butt
Manchester United's Nicky Butt

Sam Wallace

Nicky Butt, one of the “Class of ’92” generation brought in to oversee Manchester United following the sacking of David Moyes on Tuesday, said it would be a “proud moment” for him, Paul Scholes and Phil Neville as they assist the interim manager, Ryan Giggs, on Saturday at Old Trafford against Norwich City.

Butt, who has been managing the Under-21s side at the club, will be on the coaches’ bench along with Scholes and Phil Neville, who have taken training since Tuesday. Giggs will hold his first press conference this morning in the Carrington academy building where Sir Alex Ferguson held his Friday briefings in the latter years of his reign.

It will be the first time that Giggs will be asked to address his own relationship with Moyes, although the expectation is that – in the Ferguson tradition – he will not be  particularly disposed to disclosing a great deal.

There are understood to be continuing negotiations between the club and Moyes and his representatives, including the League Managers’ Association chief executive Richard Bevan, over the terms of his compensation package. Meanwhile, the search for a new manager begins in earnest this week.

Butt told the club’s in-house television station MUTV that it would be “massive for us, a proud moment for us all”. He said: “To be there together is a bit of a surreal thing. We walked in here together when we were 12 and to be here now – I’m not 40 yet but Giggsy is, and myself and Scholes are nearly there too. So for us and Phil to be there together is a very proud moment.

“We’re here to try to help the club and get the results that we want from now until the end of the season. What happens after that, who knows?

“We’ve got some amazing players at this club, good lads who care about the club, who are really positive about United and want the best for the club. [Saturday] is a massive occasion, not only for Ryan, but for the staff, the fans and the players as well because they know that we’ve underachieved as a club this year.

“The players in that changing room know how good they are. They look round, look left and look right at the players next to them and know that they are very proud, hard-working lads. I’m sure we’ll see that [against Norwich].”

The Everton manager, Roberto Martinez, wished Moyes, his predecessor at Goodison Park, the best of luck in securing a new job.

Defeat to Everton last Sunday was the final straw for the Old Trafford board, but despite the fall-out seemingly tarnishing Moyes’ reputation, Martinez is confident he will not be damaged in the long term.

“It is not a nice situation when a manager loses his job, especially someone who has such strong links with our club,” said the Spaniard. “It has been a difficult experience but any experience is a good experience in this game unfortunately.

“We know David Moyes will look forward to the next footballing chapter. We know he is a very successful man and has a real strong winning mentality and he will get ready to bounce back straight away.”

Martinez added: “It is very difficult to get that experience. The amount of years he has been working at the highest level, and the know-how he has is a real strength.

“I am sure he will be ready to get into another job as quick as he can and I am sure he won’t have a lack of offers or opportunities when you have someone who is so hard- working, focused and  dedicated in his job.

“We all know he is going to be very successful in the future. We wish him the best of luck and he will always be well thought of and we will always be thankful of the job he did at our football club.”

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