Ryan Giggs: I have learned loads from Louis van Gaal
Ryan Giggs says he has learned an incredible amount from Louis van Gaal during his first year working under the Dutchman at Old Trafford.
Giggs took temporary charge of Manchester United for the final four games of the 2013-14 season following the sacking of David Moyes.
Many thought the Welshman would succeed the Scot, but United instead plumped for Van Gaal, who appointed Giggs as his assistant.
Giggs may have won every major club trophy around, but the 41-year-old believes there are still big gaps in his knowledge with regard to coaching.
But with Van Gaal's assistance, the 13-time Premier League champion feels he is picking up key skills every day, which bodes well for the former winger if he is eventually appointed as Van Gaal's successor.
"I have learned loads from him," Giggs told Press Association Sport. "Just seeing him first hand has been a massive learning experience for me.
"The manager has given me that platform to go out and coach every day. And I am enjoying it thoroughly. He didn't know me before I met him, but we instantly hit it off. And he has given me massive responsibility from the start.
"I have worked hard in coaching just as a I did as a player. He recognises that."
Giggs had already picked up little nuggets of advice from Sir Alex Ferguson before joining the coaching staff.
The Welshman, who made the majority of his 963 appearances for the club under Ferguson, sees similarities between the two men on the training pitch and in the dressing room.
"They are different people, but the basics are the same. Their principles are the same -- they want to play attacking football, and bring young players through," said Giggs.
"They are leaders and everyone knows that. They both have the calmness they bring with their knowledge and experience."
Giggs' responsibilities include playing a key role in first-team coaching at Carrington and giving prematch briefings to the squad about the opposition.
Van Gaal has been so impressed by Giggs that he has publicly stated that he thinks the Welshman will succeed him when his contract expires in the summer of 2017.
Giggs refused to be drawn on his future plans, insisting he is only considering on the present.
"There are no immediate plans," he said when asked about his next step in the game. "I am really enjoying what I am doing, working under Louis and trying to get better."
The immediate concern for Giggs is restoring United's dominance in England and abroad.
Under Ferguson, Giggs won a remarkable haul of 34 trophies, but the former midfielder has had to get used to relative mediocrity over the last two years. Under Moyes, United finished seventh and last season they had to settle for fourth following a slow start to Van Gaal's reign.
Giggs feels the five new additions Van Gaal has made this summer have strengthened the club ahead of the new year, though, and he is optimistic about the campaign ahead.
The one thing Giggs is looking forward to the most this year is the return of Champions League football to Old Trafford.
He knows United still have to negotiate a difficult playoff to make the group stages, but is looking forward to facing the best teams in Europe once again.
"There are no mugs in it at this stage," Giggs said. "It will be difficult for us to qualify, especially with the playoff being early on in the season, but we are ready.
"We are used to being in the Champions League. It wasn't nice last year watching your rivals play in it."