Nicky Butt ‘proud’ to be on board with Ryan Giggs
Class of ‘92 preparing to take charge of first game as the Manchester United coaching ticket
(l-r) Paul Scholes, Phil Neville, Nicky Butt and Ryan Giggs have taken the reins at Manchester United. Photograph: Chris Radburn/PA Wire.
Former Manchester United player Nicky Butt leaves the AON Training Complex at Carrington this week. Photograph: Dave Thompson/PA Wire
Butt, the club’s youth team coach, is assisting Giggs, who is the interim manager in the wake of David Moyes’ sacking, while Neville has been retained from the Scot’s backroom staff and Scholes has also been drafted in to help.
All four joined the club as youngsters, and Butt said: “It will be massive for us, a proud moment for all. To be there together is a bit of a surreal thing. We walked in here together when we were 12 and to be here now – I’m not 40 yet but Giggsy is, and myself and Scholes are nearly there too. So for us and Phil to be there together is a very proud moment.”
With Giggs due to speak tomorrow morning for the first time since being given the post until the end of the season, Butt said the aim was to try to win the last four matches. The defending champions are currently in seventh place.
“We’re here to try to help the club and get the results that we want from now until the end of the season,” said the former midfielder. “What happens after that, who knows? We’ve got some amazing players at this club, good lads who care about the club, who are really positive about United and want the best for the club.
“Saturday is a massive occasion, not only for Ryan, but for the staff, the fans and the players as well because they know that we’ve underachieved as a club this year. The players in that changing room know how good they are. They look round, look left and look right at the players next to them and know that they are very proud, hard-working lads. I’m sure we’ll see that.”
Eric Harrison, the coach who developed the so-called Class of ‘92 youth team who also featured David Beckham and Gary Neville, has admitted he thinks the decision to sack Moyes was correct. “I feel sorry for David Moyes and I don’t want to be critical but there is no question that the spirit was missing,” he told the Manchester Evening News. “The bond wasn’t there. That old atmosphere had gone.
“I watched the game at Everton [which United lost 2-0] and it was dreadful. I don’t think the players were playing for the manager or themselves. It looked like they wanted to go elsewhere.
“That kind of feeling doesn’t appear to have been there for months. But the fact is now that people like Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes will revive the excitement and atmosphere. The training ground will be buzzing and so will Old Trafford against Norwich City.”
Giggs, Butt, Scholes and Neville leading United means a lot to Harrison. “I am so proud and it is a great move by the club after the difficult season everyone has endured,” he said, before claiming all can be a success in their respective roles.
“I can smell the good coaches out and certainly of this trio you could tell they would have it in them to have careers on that side. Scholesy is obviously perceived as the quiet one and generally he was off the field but on the pitch he could be vocal. He won’t be a manager but as a coach I always thought he could transfer what he could do on the pitch to the training ground.
“I used to get the lads in my office once a week one by one and have a chat with them. I remember telling Scholesy at one point that he would definitely make it to the first team and I have never seen a face like it. It was unbelievable. He was so happy. I think he appreciated that quiet word and I think he will bring that to the training ground. He’ll be giving the little private pep talks. He’s done a bit with the under-19s and with Oldham Athletic’s youngsters and I am convinced the respect he will have at United will ensure people listen to him.
“Ryan and Nicky are different personalities to Paul but they are all sensible, mature men and what players. The experiences they have to call on and pass on is immeasurable. It might not be long term at United, who knows? But I do know they will all be top coaches one day somewhere.”