Giggs praises brilliant Bale

Manchester United midfielder Ryan Giggs is crossing his fingers Tottenham star and fellow Welshman Gareth Bale reaches the heady heights he has enjoyed for so long.

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson declined the opportunity to compare the two wide men yesterday, but there is little doubt Bale is the best player to emerge from the Valleys since Giggs made his breakthrough over two decades ago.

And while there can be no good wishes expressed tomorrow when United visit Spurs in an eagerly-anticipated Barclays Premier League duel, overall Giggs has high hopes for the 23-year-old.

'Gareth is brilliant,' said Giggs.'He has so much to his game and over the last season or so he has improved a lot.

'He is not just a left winger. He can play in various positions.

'I have seen him play up front for Wales. I have seen him play off the front and on the right.

'He is such an exciting player, but more than that, he has a good attitude as well.

'He can go far in the game. And whilst I hope he has an off-day this weekend, as a fellow Welshman I hope it is to the very top.'

Bale has already caused United some damage this season.

The former Southampton man scored with an excellent effort during the five-goal thriller at Old Trafford in September, which Tottenham edged after surviving some severe second-half pressure.

Giggs does not remember the occasion fondly. He was substituted at half-time after a dismal performance in central midfield.

It was viewed as a sign of his waning powers and, after losing their opening match at Everton, put United on the back foot in the title battle.

Since then, though, both Giggs and his team have revived.

'We didn't perform in the first half that day,' said Giggs. 'In the second Tottenham did not get out of their half and we should have got something out of the game.

'But when they have that kind of talent, you can't take anything for granted. You have to be at your best, which we definitely weren't in that first half earlier in the season.'

United have dropped just five points since that defeat, adding Chelsea and Manchester City to their list of notable away scalps.

Another triumph tomorrow and that smell of a 20th championship will start to get stronger, no matter what City are doing.

And that, Giggs believes, should be the main focus of United's attention, rather than allowing themselves to get dragged into a title duel which, in pure maths terms, does not exist at present.

'When you have a seven-point advantage you just have to look after yourself and the rest will take care of itself,' said Giggs.

'People spoke so much about us playing first last weekend, this time it is roles reversed.
'But we are not thinking about that. We are just thinking about a tough game at White Hart Lane against a very good Tottenham side who have already beaten us this year.

'We know what we are up against. We know that it is going to be hard. But games with Tottenham are always brilliant to be involved in.

'Hopefully we can get the right result.'