Giggs impressed by response
Ryan Giggs was delighted to oversee Manchester United's 4-0 victory over Norwich on Saturday, his first as interim manager, and said walking out at Old Trafford in this new capacity made him feel "10 feet tall".
"I was nervous, but as soon as I came out of the tunnel the reception I got, the staff got and the players got was brilliant," he told MUTV. "I've got to thank the fans for that because it’s not been an easy week, but I felt ten feet tall."
Goals from Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata handed United the win, although the Reds were frustrated for the majority of the first half. Giggs says he encouraged attacking football at the break, and was full of praise for the response shown in the second period.
“We looked like scoring goals and creating chances," he told Sky Sports. "In the first half, we were a little bit slow, so I just reminded the players that the tempo needed to be quicker and they reacted well to that.
“They’re all good players and all of us have let ourselves down this year. We haven’t played to the level that we’re capable of this season, but we did that today. I said yesterday that it can’t just be for one game, it has to be for longer than that. Every time you play for Manchester United you have to stay at that level, and they have to keep to these standards against Sunderland.
Asked about the task of choosing his side ahead of the game at Old Trafford, the Reds legend explained that he found the decision difficult: “I didn’t sleep last night. Leaving the likes of Juan Mata out of the starting 11 was a difficult decision, it was a position I’d never been in before. I’m interim manager, but I’m also one of their team mates, so leaving them out was tough.
"I told them all individually before the game, a few of them were upset and rightly so. But they didn’t sulk; you saw the response of Juan. That’s a true professional, to not moan and come on to produce a performance like that for half an hour.
“I said before the game that I could have played two teams, because the response of the players has been brilliant, I trust them all. It was really difficult to choose the team, but Rio [Ferdinand] and Nemanja [Vidic] have got that experience, as well as Patrice [Evra]. I wanted experience in the team, because I knew that it would be an emotionally-charged day and that we wouldn’t have it all our own way. Norwich are fighting for their lives, I know these players and they didn’t let me down.
The victory marked United's biggest home win of the season but Giggs is not getting carried away: “I’m just thinking about these three games. It has taken so much out of me this week that I haven’t really thought about the future. My job now is to get ready for Sunderland. They’ve just told me that I’ve got this job for four games. It’s one down, and three to go, and as far as I’m concerned that’s where my concentration is. I’ll do the job to the best of my ability and then afterwards we will have to see what happens."
As for his future as a player, Giggs suggested he will soon make a return to the pitch: “I haven’t had time to train this week, I haven’t had the energy. I’m going to start training on Monday, I knew that last week would be busy but I’ll be back on the pitch and I can’t wait."