Giggs eyes fresh challenge

When you’ve been in football as long as Ryan Giggs, new experiences can be hard to come by; but the Welsh winger – in his 21st season as a professional and passing appearance landmarks with almost weekly regularity – is looking forward with excitement to a first visit to Bloomfield Road with United on Tuesday night.

“It is a good thing for us going to a new ground,” said Giggs. “It’s a new experience, it’ll be a tight, compact ground. It’ll be loud. United are coming to town, so everyone will be up for it – players, fans. It’ll be a battle and it’ll be tough. As a player, you want challenges like that. It makes it all the more satisfying if you come out on top.”

The 37-year-old, who was substituted after a devastating hour against Birmingham City on Saturday to rest him for the midweek visit to the Fylde Coast, has not played a competitive game against Blackpool. But he has been impressed with the Barclays Premier League newcomers’ approach to life in the top-flight.

“It’s a fantastic achievement for Blackpool to be in the Premier League and, not only that, to see them play such good football,” said Giggs. “They’ve been a breath of fresh air because they go out and attack teams. They have the mindset that they’re going to score goals. There have been so many exciting games involving Blackpool this season – it should be a great game. Hopefully we go there and get three points.”

Blackpool’s impression on English football’s top league is unsurprising, Giggs says, when you look at the irrepressible fervour and passion for the game of their charismatic manager Ian Holloway. “You can see his enthusiasm in his press conferences and on the side of the pitch,” Giggs says with abroad grin. “That transcends down to the players. They respect the teams they play against but they think they can beat them. That’s a great attitude to have.”

United aren’t short of self-belief either, however, having hit Birmingham for a confidence-boosting five goals without reply in one of the Reds’ finest displays of the season. It extends the run of unbeaten league matches to 22, and it’s a record Sir Alex’s men will not surrender lightly.

“It’s a great achievement and it shows a lot of character because in some of the games we’ve not played that well and just had to grind out the results,” adds Giggs. “In other games we’ve thrown away leads, but it’s probably balanced itself out. We’ve kept with it and scored late goals, and in other games we’ve got there purely out of character and experience.

“It’s a great quality to have. We’d love to go out every week and perform like we did against Blackburn or Birmingham, but it’s not going to happen. It’s also a great achievement this season because the league is so tight and everyone is beating each other and there have been so many strange results. For us to go unbeaten so far, it is a great achievement. We just want to keep that going.”

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