After all his gigs, Wales boss is still nervous about debut

Ryan Giggs will make his bow as an international manager when his team open the China Cup friendly match against the hosts.
Ryan Giggs will make his bow as an international manager when his team open the China Cup friendly match against the hosts. PHOTO: REUTERS/USA TODAY SPORTS

NANNING (China) • Ryan 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 today.

The Manchester United legend will make his bow as an international manager when his team open the China Cup friendly match against the hosts.

"I never really got nervous as a player but I will be much more nervous tomorrow," Giggs, 44, said at a pre-match news conference.

"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 the 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."

"I'm proud to be the Welsh manager and proud to be coaching this group of players," he added.

"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.

"Our expectation is that it would be a tough game. China has a great manager. We watched their videos. They are very aggressive. They play wonderful football. So with all that in mind, it should be an attractive game."

Giggs would not reveal who will start but Ashley Williams is set to captain the side and Gareth Bale is in contention.

For China, coach Marcello Lippi admitted that there is still a "gap" between his team and Wales.

"We know it's going to be very hard. But it's only when you face someone stronger than you that you can achieve improvement and make it better and better," the Italian said.

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 22, 2018, with the headline 'After all his gigs, Wales boss is still nervous about debut'. Print Edition | Subscribe