Giggs wary of Villans
Ryan Giggs is warning that United cannot take lightly the purpose and goal-presence Darren Bent has added to a youthful and hungry Aston Villa side when Gerard Houllier’s men visit Old Trafford on Tuesday night.
Speaking to United’s matchday programme, Giggs says there is every reason to be wary of the challenge the Villans pose, and the 37-year-old is not being lulled into a sense of superiority regarding their lowly league placing.
A youthful Villa side came closer than any team this season to beating United in the league back in November. The Reds came back from 2-0 down with ten minutes to go to earn a draw.
“I was really impressed with them,” Giggs tells United Review. “Young players can come into a team sometimes and freeze, but they really got about us and made it a high tempo game. Sometimes if you slow things down you can come unstuck, but they kept going and it worked for a lot of the game. We didn’t play well, but the lads never gave up and managed to grind out a result.”
Villa are unlikely to be overawed coming to Old Trafford either. “They came here last season and beat us,” says Giggs, recalling December 2009’s 1-0 loss. “With the players they’ve got and the pace they have, they’ve got the ability to cause any team problems. We have to be ready for that.
“I am a bit surprised [Villa have spent much of the season near the bottom end of the table]. We know they’ve got some talented youngsters, but they’ve had some injuries to key players.
"[Gabriel] Agbonlahor is a big player for them and they’ve missed him when he’s been out this season. When a new manager comes in it can take time to adjust so that’s probably played a part, too.”
New signing Darren Bent seems to have given the whole club a lift since his big-money arrival from Sunderland. “He guarantees goals,” explains Giggs. “He’s proved that over the last four or five years. There aren’t many players who’ve scored more than him and I’m sure he’ll get a lot of goals for Villa. He’s made a good start, that’s for sure.”