Eric Steele warns Ryan Giggs and Phil Neville will find it tough to adapt as coaches


Former Manchester United goalkeeping coach Eric Steele has warned Ryan Giggs and Phil Neville that they will find it difficult to adapt to their new coaching roles.


It was announced yesterday that Neville, who emerged from the Old Trafford youth system with the highly celebrated class of 1992, would take on a coaching position in David Moyes’ backroom staff – after Neville ended his 18-year playing career at Everton last month.  


And club legend Giggs, 39, who is expected to complete his UEFA Pro Licence next summer, will take up a player/coach role after signing a one-year contract extension.

The appointments have been well-received, with many praising Moyes’ decision to bring the United legends into his coaching staff and integrating the old with the new following the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson after 26 years as the club’s manager.


But Steele, who left Old Trafford this summer after new manager David Moyes decided to replace him with Everton’s Chris Woods, told BBC 5 Live: ‘They have to develop their own coaching and managerial style. 


'They may have passed the necessary coaching qualifications but it is a bit like becoming a driver. You don’t become a great driver the night after passing your test. I’ll be very interested to see how it evolves with both Phil and Ryan. 


'You have to time to go out, practise and sometimes fail. Sometimes sessions won’t work and they will have to ask ‘why?’ But what a great place though to come in and be able to say to David Moyes, ‘can I have a quiet word?'



The early days: Giggs and Neville with former United boss Sir Alex Ferguson     

And Steele, who has been widely-acclaimed for his role in the improvement of David de Gea’s form, has suggested that Giggs and Neville may have to make do with more menial tasks as they look to settle in to the coaching staff at United.


‘It would be bit-part role at first I expect – go and take the sessions in the afternoon, learn, have a new focus because it is difficult to go from player to coach. You have to get out on a wet, windy day and coach 10 or 12. 


'The great thing is that United always have great players there in the reserve and youth set-up where Ryan and Phil will be able to learn – and they will transfer that eventually into the first-team setup.’

Steele is one of a host of Sir Alex Ferguson’s back-room team to leave Old Trafford this summer – along with assistant manager Mike Phelan, first team coach Rene Meulensteen and Chief Scout Martin Ferguson – has said that David Moyes has been ‘brave’ as he looks to stamp his authority on the club early on.


Steele said: ‘I think he is brave in that he has come into such a big club and he has said that he wants to do it with people who know his way. They know his system and the way he wants to work. It’s not just a system – it’s a culture that you have to have.


'He’s brought Steve Round as assistant manager, Jimmy Lumsden as first-team coach and Chris Woods as goalkeeping coach. They know the way it all works.

They interact well with each other and that’s what is needed as he looks to hit the ground running at one of the biggest clubs in the world.  Now, he’s added to that a great link to the dressing room with ex-players Ryan and Phil. Hopefully, it will all bode well for the future of Manchester United.’


Meanwhile, Steele is set to join League 2 side Shrewsbury as a temporary appointment to replace their Nottingham-Forest bound goalkeeping coach Gavin Ward. Steele is an old friend of Shrewsbury manager Graham Turner and is set to fill the breach until the club can identify a long-term replacement. 


Shrewsbury boss Turner said: I’ve known Eric for a long time. The keepers need specialist training. He was keen to come in and help out.’