Giggs: Ireland clash not Welsh ‘revenge’ mission

Giggs: Ireland clash not Welsh ‘revenge’ mission

James Candy

Wales manager Ryan Giggs insists his side will not be on a revenge mission when they welcome Ireland back to the Cardiff City Stadium next week.

James McClean’s strike ended any hope Wales had of reaching the World Cup with a 1-0 victory that silenced the Welsh capital back in October last year.

Nottingham Forest’s former Ireland international striker Daryl Murphy heads home his team’s first goal after just 89 seconds against his old club Newcastle in the the Carabao Cup clash at the City Ground last night. Forest won 3-1. Picture: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
Nottingham Forest’s former Ireland international striker Daryl Murphy heads home his team’s first goal after just 89 seconds against his old club Newcastle in the the Carabao Cup clash at the City Ground last night. Forest won 3-1. Picture: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

The Nations League clash will be Giggs’ first competitive game in charge of his country, and he will be urging his side to keep cool heads before sending them out onto the pitch.

“When you start thinking about revenge and stuff like that, it can throw you off track,” he said.

“It is part of my job if there is anything in their minds about revenge, I have to tell them to get it out of your head.

“I understand. I was at home watching it on TV and was just as frustrated as anyone but that is gone.

“We have new players and it is something you have to forget. It is part of football you get bad defeats and sometimes you are unlucky. It was a long time ago, for me it is a new game and it is my job to make sure we perform as best we can on the night.”

Giggs is without Wales’ Euro 2016 hero Hal Robson-Kanu, who announced his retirement from international football yesterday.

But Newcastle left-back Paul Dummett has come back in from the cold having not played since 2015. The 26-year-old replaces Neil Taylor, whose horror tackle on Seamus Coleman is still fresh in the memories of many Ireland fans.

But Giggs insists his omission is purely down to footballing reasons and not his chequered history in the fixture.

“I was aware of his history but that wasn’t anything to do with it, it was just for the reasons I’ve given,” added Giggs.

“The flexibility Dummett and Davies give me, they can play as full-backs or centre-halves in a three, and they’re playing.

“I spoke to him at the end of last season, but players who haven’t been picked know that it’s going to chop and change.

“Neil hasn’t been playing, but that could change. I’ve played with Neil and seen the qualities he’s got, he’s a great lad but at the moment Ben Davies and Paul Dummett are playing regular and they have that quality.

“The door isn’t shut, and it’s hard leaving players who have done so well for Wales out of the squad. They’re not just players, they’re people, and he’s a great lad and I know he loves coming away with his country. These are the difficult decisions I have to make.”

Talisman Gareth Bale has been named in the 25-man Welsh squad.

Meanwhile Giggs has urged Manchester United supporters to rally round embattled manager Jose Mourinho.

Mourinho still retains the support of the United hierarchy despite a disappointing start to the season that has seen them lose two of their three Premier League games.

But odds on Mourinho leaving Old Trafford have tumbled in the wake of United’s 3-0 home defeat to Tottenham on Monday.

“I was there on Monday as a United fan,” said former Red Devils favourite Giggs.

“It’s time for the fans to stick together, to get behind the club, the team and the manager and the coaching staff. That’s me purely speaking as a fan.

“It’s a tough time at the moment but we’ve had tough times before and come through them.”

United’s next test is at Burnley on Sunday and defeat there will intensify the spotlight further on Mourinho’s Old Trafford future.

“They’ve got a tough game at the weekend,” Giggs said.

“When I was assistant at United, Burnley was one of the games where I was setting up the cones and I was thinking ‘I wouldn’t mind playing today’.

“There weren’t many times I thought like that but you walk out and you’re surrounded by all the United fans around the tunnel.

“So it’s a fantastic game to get rid of all that negativity around the club. I hope we come through it sooner rather than later and I’m sure we will in the next game.”

Giggs had four games as United interim manager at the end of the 2013-14 campaign before spending two seasons as Louis van Gaal’s assistant at Old Trafford.

The 44-year-old is 12-1 with some bookmakers to succeed Mourinho but told reporters: “Keep your money in your pockets.”


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