Giggs relishing 'balancing act' of playing and coaching at Manchester United

The former Wales international says he enjoys seeing the game from a coach's perspective, while also praising youngsters Wilfried Zaha, Adnan Januzaj and Jesse Lingard
Ryan Giggs says he is enjoying combining playing and coaching at Manchester United under new boss David Moyes.

The 39-year-old started the former Everton manager’s first match in charge - a 1-0 defeat to an All Star XI in Thailand on Saturday - but begins his 24th season at Old Trafford as a member of United’s coaching staff as well as a player.

And the former Wales international revealed that he is relishing the opportunity to learn about the game from a new perspective while still featuring for the first team.

"It's worked well so far and I'm excited about it personally," Giggs told reporters. "It's about getting the balancing act right because I'm still playing. But I've enjoyed it so far.

"Regarding coaching, the manager likes to coach. There's Jim Lumsden, Steve Round and Phil Neville. There's not a big emphasis on that at the moment.

"It's more looking behind the scenes and seeing how everything works. It's completely different from playing. Even though I've been playing for 20-odd years, you're seeing the other side of it.

"You're seeing how you prepare for games. It's something I hadn't experienced as a player. Some things I knew, others I didn't. It's been a real education."

Giggs also admitted it was 'strange' as players reported for pre-season following Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement after almost 27 years at the club, but insisted the squad were fully focused on the future.

"It's strange for someone like myself, who has known him for so long," he revealed. "You just get on with it. You look forward, not back. But it's different."

The veteran midfielder also complimented new signing Wilfried Zaha as well as United youngsters Adnan Januzaj and Jesse Lingard for their displays in Saturday’s friendly.

"I'm excited by them," he said. "Januzaj did well. He looks a really good prospect. Wilfried Zaha came on and was unlucky not to score and Jesse Lingard got some shots off as well.

"It was good experience for these lads to come on the tour, play in front of big crowds and get that experience. All the players I mentioned, not just Wilfried, are tremendous prospects. They're all exciting and will gain experience from games like this.

"Adnan is talented. He's shown his talent in training. He's trained with us quite a bit in pre-season and did well again in the game.

"Now it's just about having that experience and learning from the older players and doing what he does best. You don't want to get ahead of yourself. He's only young."