Giggs: We're ready to deliver
Ryan Giggs admits the Reds are “frustrated” at having let their advantage over Manchester City slip, but are determined to ensure they leave the Etihad on Monday night with the title still very much in their grasp.
Just over two weeks ago Sir Alex’s men were eight points clear of the Blues, but a change in fortunes for both clubs has seen the lead reduced to just three points. A win or a draw for United would ensure our title hopes remain in our hands, but victory for City would hand them the initiative because of their superior goal difference. Giggs, a veteran of 35 Manchester derbies, insists the players are well aware of what’s at stake and know they must perform to their best.
“We’re looking forward to the game more than anything,” he told ManUtd.com. “It’s been a long week building up to it and as a player you just want to get out onto that pitch and perform. We just can’t wait for Monday night to come.
“We’re under no illusions that it’s a tough game but it’ll be a tough game for City as well. They will be looking at it and fancying themselves to win just like ourselves because they’re a good team and they’re at home. But we’re Man United, we’re the champions and we’ll be trying to put a statement out that shows we deserve to win this league.”
Sir Alex has labelled the clash the “biggest derby in my time” and Giggs agrees that given its timing in the season and the positions both teams are in, there has never been another more important. But he says it’s vital the Reds do their utmost to block out the ever-increasing hype.
"We realise it’s a big game but as a United player you're used to that,” he added. “You’ve got to block out the hype and what’s being said – that’s been going on all through the season. One day people say City are going to win the title and then it’s United… we’re used to that. I must admit it’s hard to block it out, but you’ve got to try and be professional and not let emotions get the better of you. Your job is to train well and be ready to go out there and perform when Monday comes.”
While a point would be good enough for United to stay in control at the Barclays Premier League summit, Giggs maintains that the Reds will not simply be going there to defend.
“We’ve got to go out there and try and win,” says the 38-year-old. “Obviously if there’s a few minutes to go and it’s all square we won’t be pushing six or seven players forward and we’ll probably try and get the draw! [Laughs]. But we’ve got to go and try to win it because if we just try to defend against a very good team we might come unstuck.
“We’re the two best teams [in the league], there’s no doubt about that,” he continues. “We’ve been the two most consistent teams over the season. The likes of Tottenham and Chelsea have fallen by the wayside but we’ve carried on going. City were on fire before Christmas and we were just trying to hang on really. We managed to do that and we’ve come into form in the second half of the season. But it’s come down to this now… we’re neck and neck and it’s about whoever puts in the performance on Monday night.”