Ryan Giggs believes that Manchester United must learn to rely less on Wayne Rooney next season if they are to wrest the Premier League title back from Chelsea.
The Welshman acknowledges that a greater variety of players must contribute when it comes to scoring goals in order to complement the side's strong defence.
"If you had to say one thing, you'd probably say we can't rely on Wayne next season like we did this one," Giggs told The Daily Mirror.
"We need to be scoring more goals from different areas and from different players, even though as a team we scored more than we did last season.
"We were also better defensively this season than last, but we can't rely on Wayne as much as we have done this season in terms of goals.
"On Sunday against Stoke we started full of hope, then came in at half-time and found out Chelsea were 2-0 up and Wigan were down to 10 men.
"We knew then it was over and, to be honest, we didn't want to go out for the second half. You just want to go home in that situation.
"It was unfortunate for us that Wayne got injured at a really important part of the season, because we'd relied on his goals more or less throughout it.
"So to get to the business part of the season and not have him, then to have him for one game without him having really trained, wasn't ideal.
"But whether the manager does or doesn't bring in any other strikers this summer, the other players know we need to score more.
"Whether that's defenders coming up for corners or midfielders chipping in, we all need to contribute a lot more."
As for what cost the Red Devils the title this season, Giggs feels that the two league games against the eventual champions were the key moments.
"You'd have to say it came down to the two Chelsea games," said Giggs. "If we'd even just drawn one of those games we'd have won the title.
"When you lose two games against your biggest rivals, it's always going to be tough.
"It's not always the case that those head-to-head games decide the title, but this season they probably did.
"And when you look at the fact Chelsea beat us, Arsenal and Liverpool, home and away, then you have to say they deserved it.
"We're disappointed with some of the points we dropped, because we feel we could quite easily have won [the title] this year.
"But it's a tremendous achievement to come within one point of winning the title four years on the trot.
"No team has ever done that, so the players deserve huge credit for putting in such a massive effort over the past few seasons. But it just wasn't meant to be."
Nevertheless, Giggs does believe the disappointment of finshing as runners-up will stand United's young players in good stead.
The 36-year-old experienced the same bitterness in his first season as a first teamer, when Leeds United pipped the Mancunians to the last top flight title before the advent of the Premier League.
"These young players, who have known nothing else other than winning titles over the last three years, will now be tasting what I had to taste in my first full season," Giggs added.
"We came so close but lost out on the title to Leeds and that disappointment, that feeling of failure, never leaves you over the summer.
"You have to make sure you come back stronger and hungrier the following season, which is the sign of a great team and great players.
"Losing the title to Leeds that season definitely helped me, because I knew I didn't want that feeling again the next year.
"Winning is an unbelievable feeling, but it doesn't last that long. The feeling of losing lasts that much longer - and it hurts.
"You probably handle disappointment better as you get older, but it still hurts. You try and get away from it when you're away on holiday with your family.
"But you always find yourself lying on a beach, going through a game where you think you could have done better or where the team could have done more.
"But you have to try and forget about it and enjoy your holiday, because it's no good torturing yourself.
"Knowing the character of our players and how disappointed they were with the title not being in our hands, they'll come back stronger.
"On Sunday the manager just told us all to enjoy the summer, whether you're on holiday or involved in the World Cup, and come back stronger next season.
"We'll be ready next season. The manager told us to remember the feeling of losing the title - and to make sure we don't have it again this time next year."
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