Liverpool legend Ian Rush makes bold claim about new Wales boss Ryan Giggs
WELSH striking legend Ian Rush believes the only way is up for the Red Dragons now that Ryan Giggs is in charge of his beloved country.
The Ryan Express got off to a flying start with a 6-0 hammering of China – Wales’s biggest margin of victory since August 1996 with Gareth Bale netting a hat-trick to ironically topple Rush at the top of the Dragons’ goal charts.
Now Rush anticipates a bright future for Wales under the former Manchester United superstar. He says Giggs couldn’t have picked any greater brain than that of his wily old boss Sir Alex Ferguson.
He also worked as a coach first under the guidance of Louis van Gaal. Now Liverpool idol Rush – with 73 caps and 28 goals – knows from conversations with Giggs that his fellow Welsh hero will use that know-how to expert use.
“He learned a lot from his time coaching at Manchester United,’’ said Rush. ‘‘He learned a lot, too, playing and training under Sir Alex and from Louis van Gaal.
“So now the time has come. He had been looking around for the right club but I understand that he interviewed very well for the Welsh job so he earned the chance to show what he can do.
“I wasn’t surprised they gave him the job even though he didn’t have any managerial experience. He was a Welshman who wanted it and I hope he does well.
“I’ve been speaking to Ryan for the last five or six years.
"He was a great player at Manchester United and United played fantastic football so what Ryan has to do now is exactly the same with this Welsh team.”
Giggs’ appointment was met with barbed comments about him not always making himself available for friendlies – even after picking up 64 caps.
But Rush insists: “There’s no question at all on his commitment. Maybe if he had turned up for Wales on every occasion his United career wouldn’t have been as long.
“There probably is a lot of pressure on him. People will throw at him that he didn’t sometimes turn up for friendlies but maybe Sir Alex had a lot of say in that rather than Ryan.
“The pressure will be on him to win games but that happens to any manager. If he continues winning the fans will be on his side.”
Rush still has strong links with Wales – who face Uruguay on Monday in the final of the China Cup – and is excited by a crop of young talent emerging.
He said: “I’m elite performance director of Wales FA and we have some really good young players coming through the system.
“That’s something that Ryan can work on.
"And I think if he can work with that programme then he can be successful. I think his great playing career can rub off on the players.
“His famous No 11 shirt is now worn by Gareth Bale so I think the experienced players will help Ryan as well and that’s what it is all about.
“We definitely have the players now – and Ryan has the right credentials to manage them.”