SOUTHAMPTON 1, MANCHESTER UNITED 1
Ryan Giggs has admitted that his future and the Manchester United managerial situation will be sorted out in the next week after his own stint as interim manager ended with a 1-1 draw at Southampton.
Juan Mata’s superb curling 25-yard free kick in the 54th minute cancelled out Rickie Lambert’s 28th minute opening goal despite United protestations that departing captain Nemanja Vidic was fouled in the build-up. A flailing elbow from the England striker left Vidic, who will play for Inter Milan next season, with a bloodied face.
Holland manager Louis Van Gaal has been mentioned repeatedly with respect to the vacancy and an announcement could be made as soon as tomorrow.
“It’s been an experience with ups and downs. I’ve enjoyed it and I didn’t want the second half to end. The fans were great and the players were great and I loved it.
“The managerial situation will be sorted in the next week and I need to have a think about what I will do.”
The Welshman, whose Manchester United record as manager stands at 2 wins, a draw and a defeat, admitted that all options were open to him, from playing on for another season to staying on the coaching staff in some capacity and even taking a break from football.
Giggs piled on the praise for departing captain Nemanja Vidic, who was clattered by Saints striker Rickie Lambert in the build-up to his goal.
“I thought that Lambert caught Nemanja with an elbow,” Giggs said.
“I don’t know whether or not it was intentional, but I certainly thought it was a foul.
“I was disappointed with that, but you still have to defend it. I think that if it happened anywhere else on the pitch, you’d have to stop the game for a head injury, but credit to the players for coming back.”
Giggs was also fulsome in his appraisal of Juan Mata’s free kick to level the game early in the second half.
“The quality of Juan’s free-kick is brilliant and it’s nothing new really.
“He was practicing them after training yesterday, so it’s no coincidence. It’s just hard work and practice.”
The result meant that United ended a forgettable season 22 points behind Manchester City in seventh place and out of European competition next season for the first time in 25 years.
Giggs remained positive and took heart from Liverpool’s run on the title this season, suggesting that a similarly less busy fixture list could help United rebuild next season.
“Hopefully it will help us in our league form, and we can have good cup runs, which we didn’t this year, especially in the FA Cup.”