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?
Sport
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi during Barcelona training in August
footballPete Jenson co-ghost wrote Suarez’s autobiography and reveals how desperate he's been to return
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
arts + entsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
News
Laurence Easeman and Russell Brand
people
Sport
Fans of Dulwich Hamlet FC at their ground Champion Hill
footballFans are rejecting the £2,000 season tickets, officious stewarding, and airline-stadium sponsorship
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

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker