Giggs excited by challenge as he makes managerial bow with Wales
Former Man Utd legend admits to nerves in advance of game against China
Ryan Giggs: “I’m proud to be the Welsh manager and proud to be coaching this group of players.” Photograph: AFP/Getty
The Real Madrid forward has made a 7,500 mile dash to Nanning to be part of Giggs’s squad to face the hosts in the opening game of the China Cup. Bale is set to be involved, probably as a substitute, with fans from across China expected to travel to see him.
“It’s my first game and I want to get my best team out there,” said Giggs. “Gareth gives everyone a lift and he is used to the spotlight. It was the same when David Beckham came into the United team – he took the limelight away from me.”
Giggs said players such as Bale were “treated like gods” in the Far East but that he would carefully consider how to use the 28-year-old.
“It’s an important part of the season and I won’t be taking any stupid risks,” the manager said. It is understood Wales will avoid a fine in the region of £100,000 if Bale plays. Giggs, asked if his side were under commercial and financial pressure to use him, said: “Yes, of course.”
Giggs has said he will be more nervous than at any time during his playing career when he takes charge of Wales for the first time.
“I never really got nervous as a player but I will be much more nervous tomorrow,” Giggs said. “As a player you want a little bit of nerves but generally speaking I never really got nervous. Coaching and management is completely different.
“As a player you are quite selfish and you are just making sure you are doing your job in the team. As a manager there are so many things to think about that are constantly going through your mind.
“It’s a case of: ‘Have you forgotten anything? What could be improved?’ It’s about preparing the team as best you can with your staff also. Afterwards it is just evaluating, seeing what you could have done better, and seeing what we did well.”
Giggs is British football’s most decorated player and his first steps with Wales are sure to be closely scrutinised. After the game against China his team meet Uruguay or the Czech Republic on Monday.
Southern China is an unusual place to start his reign as a permanent manager but Giggs, who had a spell in interim charge of United, cannot wait to get going.
“I’m proud to be the Welsh manager and proud to be coaching this group of players,” he said. “I’m excited as well. I have been in the job over two months now and this is why I took it. I have been doing various stuff building up to the game and preparing the script as best as I can.
“But getting on the pitch, coaching, watching the lads train and trying to get my message across as quickly as possible has been great.”
Giggs would not reveal who will start but Everton’s Ashley Williams is set to captain the side and Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale is in contention.