Ryan Giggs reveals what he told Daniel James before Manchester derby
Ryan Giggs jokingly warned Daniel James that he would lose his place in the Wales team if Manchester United failed to beat Manchester City.
The Red Devils were bursting with confidence following their midweek victory over Tottenham and took an early lead over their bitter rivals as Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial found the net inside 29 minutes at the Etihad.
Nicolas Otamendi gave the champions hope with an 85th-minute header past David de Gea but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side held on for a narrow win to move up to fifth in the Premier League table.
Summer signing James was one of United's standout players and caused City's makeshift defence problems all afternoon along with Rashford and Martial.
Asked about James' impressive display, Wales manager Giggs told Premier League Productions: 'I told him that if he doesn't win today I'm not picking him!'
Giggs' former United team-mate, Peter Schmeichel, added: 'Someone who is not going to grab the headlines is Daniel James.
'Today he was unbelievable, chasing every ball, he was in every counter-attack and, at the same time, he was doubling up with [Aaron] Wan-Bissaka on the right hand side.
'Ryan must be so happy to see one of his players perform so well. He's played every single game this season and he's still playing well.
'That's a fantastic signing and he played fantastic today.'
Giggs hopes United use Saturday's victory over City as a springboard for the rest of their campaign.
'It's huge, the confidence that it gives you that you can produce that performance. All big games you need that concentration and that's what the players had today,' he said.
'They had that concentration defensively and when they won the ball back, making sure that pass forward was good, their touch was good and then players flying off and causing City big problems.
'I think we all know United's record against the big teams when the big teams open up and we can expose them on the counter-attack.
'The next step is breaking teams down and that's where we have to bring Paul Pogba back – he's the one who can unlock the door.
'Get him back playing well and consistently because that's the next step.