Friday 22 February 2019

'It's a proud moment' - Ryan Giggs excited to take on Ireland in first competitive game as Wales boss

5 September 2018; Wales manager Ryan Giggs during a training session at Cardiff City Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
5 September 2018; Wales manager Ryan Giggs during a training session at Cardiff City Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Aidan Fitzmaurice in Cardiff

RYAN Giggs admits that he will have to deal with a small dose of first-night nerves when he takes charge of Wales in a competitive game for the first time on Thursday night, at home to Ireland.

And despite the many problems in the Irish camp, with key players like Declan Rice, Harry Arter, Robbie Brady, Shane Long and now James McClean unavailable, the former Manchester United man is braced for a very tough challenge against an Irish side which boasts a good away record under Martin O'Neill.

Giggs has been in charge of Wales for three games, all away, so Thursday's Nations League battle in the Cardiff City Stadium is a big occasion for the national team boss.

"It's a proud moment, I am very excited," he said.

"The lads have trained well but I know it's going to be a tough game, Ireland are unbeaten in their last six competitive away games, we know we are up against it and we will have to work hard. But I can't wait for the game to come.

"We know they will play a team that will make it difficult for us no matter who they play, they fight, we know that, but they have quality as well."

"They have an experienced manager and six games unbeaten in competitive games away from home is no fluke," added Giggs, who refused to be drawn on the row between his former team-mate Roy Keane and Harry Arter.

"I'm not on the inside so all I can say is that he was a brilliant teammate, I don't know what's happened, so it's hard for me to comment. All I know is Roy as a person."

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