Paddy Davitt, Norwich City Writer
Monday, April 28, 2014
Ryan Giggs will never get used to the sleepless nights after plotting Norwich City’s downfall in his first match in temporary charge of Manchester United.
Giggs revealed he spent a tortured Friday evening going over his starting line-up, but the Welshman was rewarded with an emphatic attacking display.
“Did I sleep? In a word no,” he said. “I didn’t get much sleep because it was really tough to leave players out. It wasn’t nice. They are team mates of mine and it is something I have never had to do before and I will continue to find that part of it difficult to do. That has been the hardest part of the week.
“I said before the game that I could have played two teams, because the response of the players has been brilliant, I trust them all. It was really difficult to choose the team, but Rio (Ferdinand) and Nemanja (Vidic) have got that experience, as well as Patrice (Evra). I wanted experience in the team, because I knew that it would be an emotionally-charged day and that we wouldn’t have it all our own way. Norwich are fighting for their lives. I know these players and they didn’t let me down.”
Juan Mata’s omission was Giggs’ biggest call but the Spaniard responded with a 10-minute second half brace after his belated introduction.
“That was a tough one,” said Giggs. “He was disappointed, and I’d expect that. It would be strange if he wasn’t, but he just showed the class that he’s got, both as a player and as a professional. He put on a masterclass for half-an-hour - he was brilliant and I was really happy for him because it’s not easy when he’s got a big price tag.
“To not start the game was disappointing for him and I’m really pleased that he came on and made such an impact.
“I wanted to tell them all individually before the game and a few of them were upset and rightly so. But they didn’t sulk and you saw the response of Juan. That’s a true professional, to not moan and come on to produce a performance like that for half-an-hour.”
Giggs admitted he felt the weight of expectation after stepping in to replace David Moyes for the final four games of a turbulent campaign for the champions.
“I put a lot of pressure on myself during the week,” he said. “As a manager there is probably more relief when you get the result because as a player you are in the thick of it. I picked a team I thought could win the game and now it is the same feeling as when you win a game as a player.”