Giggs: We would never collapse like Liverpool
Ryan Giggs says the crisis that has engulfed Liverpool could not happen at Manchester United because of the successful foundations laid by Sir Alex Ferguson.
United's arch rivals arrive at Old Trafford for tomorrow's FA Cup third round tie mired in turmoil, just four points off the relegation zone and with beleaguered boss Roy Hodgson on the brink of the sack.
While United endured a 26-year wait before winning the first of 11 Premier League titles in 1993, Giggs said Fergie had strengthened the club to such an extent they could never suffer a fall from grace as dramatic as Liverpool.
And ahead of the showdown between English football's fiercest rivals, Giggs hailed Fergie's long-term vision, which he believes will sustain United's success long after the 69-year-old Scot eventually steps down.
"Our manager is not always looking just for this season," said Giggs. "He buys players with a view to the future, which he's done more and more over the last few years.
"He's bought players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, Anderson and Nani - all young players who have got the ability to go on and be better, and all of whom have done that.
"Now we've got the next batch, the likes of Javier Hernandez, Rafael and Fabio Da Silva, Gabriel Obertan and Chris Smalling, all young players who will hopefully get better over the next few years.
"The manager is experienced enough to know that we'll be challenging for the league this season and long after that because of the nucleus of the squad we have, as well as adding fresh blood, which gives everyone a lift."
Despite the chaos at Liverpool, Giggs is experienced enough to know that United cannot afford to take lightly the threat posed by their old adversaries, who will arrive in Manchester with a point to prove.
Two seasons ago, with United closing in on the title, Liverpool routed them 4-1 at Old Trafford, a reminder that, with world-class talents like Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres, the Merseysiders have the potential to throw up a shock.
"Liverpool are a big club but they've obviously had massive problems off the pitch," said Giggs. "They've had a new manager this season and new owners, and they haven't got off to the start they'd wished.
"But they have got quality players in their team, and when you've got that, you've always got a chance. Losing is like winning, in that it can become a habit.
"Once you start losing, the luck doesn't seem to go for you. Whereas if you're winning, it does seem to go for you. If you're not doing too well and your league form isn't what it should be, which is the case with Liverpool, the FA Cup is always a release.
"It's a one-off, so it can be something a team that isn't doing too well can look forward to and something they can enjoy. But we'll be up for it and won't be taking anything for granted.
"No matter how the two teams are doing, and Liverpool aren't doing too well at the moment, I always say that form goes out of the window, purely because of the history and rivalry between the two clubs.
"They'll have 9,000 fans at Old Trafford, so the atmosphere will be electric and, no matter how badly they're doing right now, Liverpool have still got some world-class players.
"There's not many teams in the Premier League who have got world-class players like Liverpool, the likes of Gerrard, Torres and Jose Reina. So we'll have to be fully focused."
Giggs, who will celebrate the 20th anniversary of his United debut in March, has yet to make up his mind about whether he will carry on playing next season.
But if this is to be his last campaign with United, the 37-year-old said he is desperate to go out on a high, with the FA Cup just as much of a target as the Premier League and Champions League.
"I don't approach a game like this thinking it could be the last time I play against Liverpool," said Giggs. "It's more like it could be my last chance to win the FA Cup.
"I just want to go out and enjoy it, and I feel if I do that I'll be at my best. The FA Cup is a great competition where anything can happen.
"You saw that last year, when we lost to Leeds in the third round at home. You're never surprised at what the FA Cup can throw up - sendings off, freak goals, anything can happen and you can be out.
"Last season was tough. Not only were we out of the FA Cup after one game, we'd lost to a big rival like Leeds. You don't want that feeling again, certainly not against our biggest rivals Liverpool.
"The FA Cup has still got that unique romance about it. The atmosphere on Sunday, you wouldn't get that in a Premier League game, because Liverpool will be brining more fans with them than normal.
"These are the kind of games you look forward to, the kind you want to be involved in. And you want to get to Wembley. It's the FA Cup, it was my first memory of football growing up, watching it on TV. So it's still a special competition for all players."