• Premier League

Giggs says United won't fall off perch

ESPN staff
March 21, 2014
Ryan Giggs, pictured with coach Phil Neville, has played fewer games than he would have liked for Manchester United this season © PA Photos

Ryan Giggs says Manchester United's players are determined to ensure the team do not fall off their perch like the Liverpool side of the 1990s.

Comparisons are being drawn between the fortunes of the two clubs as United, after the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson, have looked a shadow of the all-conquering teams the former manager produced.

The Scot infamously claimed once that knocking Liverpool off their perch had been his greatest challenge - and boasted that he had achieved it.

Giggs can understand why people might link Liverpool's dramatic decline after two decades of dominance to United's struggles but insisted his teammates have the quality to prevent a simliarly unwanted slump.

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"You can see why people are saying that because we haven't produced it this season on a regular basis," he said.

"I know from experience what these players are capable of and a lot of them have been written off.

"I think there is a lot of quality within the dressing room. We showed it [against Olympiakos with a Champions League win on Wednesday] and we have to show it more consistently."

Giggs, 40, is the most decorated player in United's history and starred on his return to the team as they advanced to the last eight of the Champions League by beating Olympiakos.

But United, who have been champions of England 13 times in 21 years, are only seventh in the Premier League after Sunday's 3-0 defeat to Liverpool.

Their struggles have prompted suggestions they are mirroring the problems of Liverpool when, after winning 11 titles between 1973 and 1990, they suffered a steep decline, failing to claim a finishing place at the league summit since.

Veterans Giggs and Rio Ferdinand were brought back against the Greek champions while Danny Welbeck, who was selected ahead of Adnan Januzaj on the left wing, added speed.

And the player-coach felt it gave them a combination of attributes that many of the club's best sides possessed.

He explained: "I think the team had a mixture of a lot of things: pace, experience, power. That's what Man United is about and we showed that. We showed what we are capable of."

Giggs extended his own record by making his 961st United appearance on Wednesday but he had only had 10 minutes of first-team football since January before then.

He has received plenty of praise for his performance and conceded he was disappointed he had not featured more but, after the club had to reject claims of a row with Moyes, said he was optimistic it will earn him more chances.

He added: "I have probably not played as much as I would like in the last few months but hopefully [I will get more games]."

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