Friday 21 September 2018

Ryan Giggs suggests Jose Mourinho is close to taking Manchester United back to the top

Ryan Giggs backing Jose Mourinho take Manchester United back to the top
Ryan Giggs backing Jose Mourinho take Manchester United back to the top

Ryan Giggs believes Manchester United will prove they are heading "back to the top" if they add the FA Cup to a second-placed finish in the Premier League.

The United great, now manager of Wales, knows all about the demands at Old Trafford having collected a record 34 trophies over the course of his career.

The Red Devils have not won the title since Giggs' penultimate campaign in 2012/13 but this season's runners-up spot represents their best finish in five years.

He has been encouraged by the strides made under Jose Mourinho's management and sees victory over Chelsea at Wembley later this month as a key statement of intent.

"It's a huge game for United, to finish second and win the FA Cup is a successful season," Giggs told Press Association Sport. "If they do that we'll definitely be getting there, back to the top.

"As a United fan you want to compete for the league and compete in Europe as well, but winning the FA Cup and coming second, you can build on that and we all hope they can compete for the Premier League next year.

"They were quite successful last year, winning two trophies (the Europa League and League Cup), but coming second is definitely progress."

Giggs led his country for the first time at the China Cup in March, with Wales beating the hosts 6-0 before losing 1-0 to Uruguay in the final.

His next assignment is against Mexico in Los Angeles on May 29, when he will be without star man Gareth Bale and teenage talent Ben Woodburn due to the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool.

Bale is no stranger to European football's showpiece match but for 18-year-old Woodburn, who is likely to be a substitute for the Reds, it represents a major learning curve.

"It's huge for Gareth, it could be his fourth winners' medal, which is unbelievable, and for Ben it's a great experience, such a great occasion," said Giggs, who was appearing at the launch of the FAW and McDonald's Grassroots Football Awards.

"It can only help Ben in what I believe will be a very successful career. It's about taking it all in, seeing how players prepare for these big games. You're seeing great players at first hand, players at Real Madrid and Liverpool as well, with what they've done recently.

"He can look and pick up pointers from how these players prepare for such a game."

With Wales relying on a pathway of younger players like Woodburn, Giggs is more than happy to play his part in encouraging the next generation.

After surprising children at Rhosddu United in Wrexham with a masterclass, he said: "Grassroots is something all top players have been involved in and it's really important.

"I've seen first hand the great work they do. I was involved from an early age with a local team, volunteers running the game. It definitely helped me along the way and without it wouldn't be here now."

- Ryan Giggs was speaking at the launch of the 2018 FAW & McDonald's Grassroots Football Awards. Nominate any deserving grassroots heroes at www.mcdonalds.co.uk/awards

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