Southampton 1 Manchester United 1 match report: Ryan Giggs primed to make quick decision over Manchester United future

United end their woeful season with a well-earned point

St Mary's

Ryan Giggs expects to have to make a rapid decision on his future if, as anticipated, Manchester United announce Louis van Gaal as their new manager this week.

Giggs said after the match that taking a coaching post under the incoming manager is one of a number of options, but he does not expect to be allowed to take his time if Van Gaal has an opening on his staff.

“I’ll need to think about my own position and decide what I’m going to do,” he said. “Whether to play on or not, whether to stay on in the staff and what position that’s going to be, whether I’ll just take a year off from football, all the options are open. I’ll look at everything, but I’ll probably have to do it quick if a new manager is appointed.”

Giggs selected a strong-looking United side for his fourth and final match as caretaker-manager but they struggled to a low-key draw. Juan Mata’s equaliser from a free-kick was their only effort on target until the dying  seconds.

The whole afternoon felt less like the end of a season than the end of an era – for both clubs. United are sure to have a new look on the field as well as in the dugout as they attempt to recover from the shock of missing out on European football for the first time in 24 seasons.

As well as Nemanja Vidic, who is on his way to Internazionale, United fans probably had their last sight of Rio  Ferdinand and Patrice Evra in their club’s shirts.

But if radical change is United’s hope, it is also Southampton’s fear. Their supporters cannot feel very confident that Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw or even manager  Mauricio Pochettino will be at St Mary’s next season. However, Pochettino, thought to be a target for Tottenham Hotspur, shed even less light on his situation than Giggs did on his.

 

“I still have a year of my contract left and it’s normal that these rumours are going to start cropping up,” he said. “[Today] we are going to sit down and talk. This is the end of a five-year project that started with Markus Liebherr buying the club and appointing Nicola Cortese as chairman. Now a new project has to start. We’ll see how that happens.”

England probables Shaw and Lallana were both taken off early, perhaps to give each the chance to wave his goodbyes, although Pochettino denied any ulterior motives. “Adam looked tired, Luke Shaw had a bit of cramp, so there wasn’t anything behind those decisions,” he said.

Shaw, who interests United and Chelsea, looked every inch the future England regular, as good going forward as he was snuffing out the threat of Adnan Januzaj. One marauding run that left Chris Smalling trailing in his wake looked as if a point was being made to the watching England head coach Roy Hodgson as well as United.

Southampton made all the early running, and went ahead in the 28th minute as Rickie Lambert took a pass from Steven Davis and beat David De Gea at his near post. Vidic, writhing on the ground and with blood flowing from a head wound, claimed that Lambert had elbowed him in the build-up to the goal, but replays appeared to suggest that Vidic had jumped into Lambert rather than vice versa.

Giggs replaced Shinji Kagawa with Michael Carrick at the interval and his team found an equaliser in the 54th minute when Victor Wanyama fouled Danny Welbeck two yards outside the penalty area and Mata’s left foot sent the ball over the wall and high past Artur Boruc’s left hand.

“We changed things and it was a lot better,” Giggs said. “We kept possession well and there was only one winner. I enjoyed the second half and didn’t want it to end.

“Hopefully [being out of Europe] will help us in our league form and we’ll have good cup runs. We’re a club and team that wants to win things and this year has been frustrating, it’s not  happened.

“But it’s like any defeat that we’ve had, we try to come back stronger and that’s what we’ll do.”

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

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas