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

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