Ryan Giggs demands Manchester United improve on sloppy starts

 

Manchester United veteran Ryan Giggs knows the team cannot keep relying on their famous powers of recovery.

Having staged some remarkable comebacks over the years, United are renowned for their ability to respond after falling behind.

Yet this season it is a trait they have had to demonstrate all too often having fallen behind on eight occasions in all competitions.

In all but two of those games, against Everton and Tottenham, they have hit back to win but Giggs is aware United are playing a risky game.

The 38-year-old said: "That's probably the biggest disappointment from this year, the number of times we've gone behind.

"But on the plus side we've managed to come back in the majority of them and win them.

"Obviously we can't go throughout the season like we have been doing.

"We know that if we get clean sheets then we'll create chances at the other end and win more games than we lose."

United beat Stoke 4-2 last weekend after conceding the opening goal and found themselves in a trickier situation in the midweek Champions League clash with Braga after falling two behind.

They hit back to win 3-2 thanks largely to a double from striker Javier Hernandez.

With Danny Welbeck and Wayne Rooney having notched their first club goals of the season against Stoke and Robin van Persie in fine form, attacking options are at least strong.

Giggs said: "They're all different, which is good. Depending on the team we're playing against or the fixtures coming up the manager can chop and change as necessary.

"Shinji Kagawa can also play off the front, I can play there, Tom Cleverley can play there. We've got a lot of flexibility."

Giggs believes United have also shown pleasing signs of further versatility this season by adapting well to the diamond formation manager Sir Alex Ferguson has sometimes deployed.

The former Wales winger said: "In the game against Newcastle at St James' Park, that first 20 minutes was probably the best football we've played all season - that was with the diamond. But we need to do that for 90 minutes.

"With Antonio (Valencia) missing the game and Ashley Young injured we were short of width a little bit.

"So the diamond made sense and it means we have that flexibility now.

"Maybe we'll need to use it in some big games - you might see it in Europe - but United, more often than not, will play with wingers."

Giggs has been used sparingly by Ferguson this season, featuring in just six games and three of those were as a substitute.

He could be on the bench again as United return to Barclays Premier League action when they face leaders Chelsea in a top-of-the-table clash on Sunday.

Despite that Giggs, who is now in his 22nd season at Old Trafford after captaining Great Britain at the London 2012 Olympics, still feels good.

He said: "I'm in good shape.

"I was at the Olympics so I missed the majority of the pre-season training that we do.

"That meant I was perhaps a little bit behind in relation to other players - I'd played more games rather than trained.

"But I've managed to get that back in order over the last few weeks, working with the coaches. I feel good at the moment."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there