Ryan Giggs team-talks were 'Sir Alex-esque', reveals Manchester United striker Robin van Persie

The Dutch striker labels James Wilson debut 'special' after youngster scores twice on debut

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The Independent Football

The return of Robin van Persie to full fitness provided a double dividend for Manchester United's interim manager. Van Persie came off the bench to put the result against Hull beyond doubt then offered a substantial endorsement of the management credentials of Ryan Giggs.

The temporary incumbent at Old Trafford re-iterated the neutral line about delaying any decision on his future at the club as a player or as a part of the coaching staff until the end of the campaign. In truth there is nothing to decide until United's intentions towards Louis Van Gaal are made clear.

It was thought that the retention of Giggs as part of a management structure around Van Gaal might be a sticking point, but the backing of Van Gaal's Dutch World Cup skipper appears to have put that objection to bed.

"I witnessed two team meetings as I came in a bit late," said Van Perise, who returned to the first team squad after injury ahead of the defeat to Sunderland. "The one from the last game against Sunderland, and today's game, were incredible. They were Sir Alex-esque.

"He's been brilliant and I think he came on without even warming up tonight! Am I correct? He came on without a warm-up, put in some fantastic passes and almost scored. He's a legend and I think he shows that every day."


A decision on the new manager is not expected until next week but it is clear how highly regarded Giggs is by senior figures at Old Trafford, a position re-inforced by his sensitive handling of the team following the exit of David Moyes.

The 3-1 victory against Hull made it two wins from three matches and demonstrated Giggs' understanding of the values and expectations at the club. His selection of 18-year-old striker James Wilson, vindicated by two goals, alongside 20-year-old Tom Lawrence, demonstrated his instinctive understanding of the demand at United, a club predicated on youth.

Robin van Persie seals victory with United's third


His post-match address was further evidence of a figure with an intuitive command of the stage, revealing the kind of natural leadership qualities United are keen to retain and to foster. It might be that to expose him immediately to the daily rigours of absolute control is premature but not as a first lieutenant in a Van Gaal regime with a view to assuming control down the line.

That was a view echoed by former United team-mate Dennis Irwin. "He  knows the club inside out, he has all the attributes and qualities to make a manager. Whether they plump for him now I don't know. My heart says I would love him to be manager, my head says maybe we need more experience but I've no doubt he will be a future United manager."

Giggs' response to the Sunderland disappointment was quick and radical, fielding a front three comprised of two debutants and a boy barely 19. Adnan Januzaj was a veteran in the company of Wilson and Lawrence and comfortably the game's outstanding player. But, understandably, it was Wilson who attracted the headlines.

James Wilson celebrates his first goal for Manchester United


Van Persie was particularly impressed. "James played really well,"he said. "I know how hard it is to make your debut. I made mine (here) when I was about 29! I know how special it can be. He made it very special for himself and for everyone tonight. To score two goals is really special."

Wilson made statues of the Hull defence, reacting first to Marouane Fellaini's headed knock-down and clipping a sweet left-foot shot past Eldin Jakupovic for his first. The second was a simple tap-in, again following a Fellaini intervention. The point is he was in the right place.

"The first goal was just sheer euphoria and then the second was just a great experience," Said Wilson, who has scored or the U-18s, U-19s, U-21s and first team this season. "The ground is a lot different without 75,000 people, but just to play here even in front of a small crowd for the Under-21s is still a great experience. With all the fans here it was even better.

"I feel like I can deal with the physicality and pace of the game. I just need to try to get as many games as possible under my belt. If you're getting on in the club, you have to be progressing so obviously scoring for every age group is a good sign. I've got where I am now but I have to kick on."