Giggs delighted at Christmas family affair

Manchester United veteran Ryan Giggs believes a rare family Christmas will fire him up for Sunday’s trip to Hull and help bury the disappointment of last weekend’s shock defeat at Fulham.

With United not playing on Boxing Day, Giggs was able for the first time in his illustrious career to spend the whole day at home with wife Stacey and children Libby and Zach, having been given the
day off by Sir Alex Ferguson.

”Until I had kids I never got excited about Christmas,” said Giggs. ”You just can’t.

”You have to concentrate on playing on Boxing Day and you are always travelling on Christmas Day. That is one of the downsides about being a footballer.

”Once you have kids it is hard opening the presents, then going off to training, so, to have Christmas Day off for the first time in my career is definitely welcomed.”

Meanwhile, Ferguson believes attack could be the best form of defence for United as they look to get their faltering Premier League title challenge back on track at Hull.

United’s defensive problems have left the reigning champions looking vulnerable in recent defeats to Aston Villa and Fulham.

Ferguson’s team have rarely been so out-played as they were last weekend, when they slumped to a 3-0 loss at Fulham which the Old Trafford boss himself thought might end up costing his side a
fourth successive title.

Injuries to Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Wes Brown, John O’Shea and Gary Neville have forced Ferguson to play midfielders Darren Fletcher and Michael Carrick in defence.

Ferguson, who hopes Vidic and Brown will be fit for the Hull clash, accepts the situation is far from ideal, but he is also keen to see more creative flair from his forward players to help United compensate for their current issues at the back.

”Hull will be encouraged by the fact we have got defenders injured. They will certainly have a go at us,” he said.

”It’s always a dogfight down at the bottom of the table and, as usual, there are six, seven or eight teams involved in that battle.

”We looked fragile once we lost the goal [at Fulham]. We got away with playing midfielders at centre-back once or twice, but it proved difficult.

”We have to make sure we are better attacking-wise than we were against Fulham. We didn’t make a lot of chances in the match, we had a lot of possession but it didn’t amount to anything.

”In terms of creating chances, we have to get that creativity, imagination back.

”I think losing to Aston Villa was a bitter disappointment, we made enough chances to win it. Winning your home games can stabilise you from bad results away from home.

”It’s unusual for us to lose two games in December, it’s not happened that many times but hopefully by the Leeds United [in the FA Cup third round] game we will have three centre-backs and we can then kick on and get back to our normal selves.

”The way the league is at the moment, I think Arsene Wenger said the other day you could lose seven games and still win the league this year.

”Someone pointed out the recognised top four have lost 41 points between them this season. Nobody would have bet on that.”

While Ferguson frets, his opposite number Phil Brown fears his Hull side are taking on United at the wrong time because they will be determined to erase those recent disappointments.

”I think United will be like a wounded animal. But you write them off at your peril because they will still have a big, big say in the title race,” Brown said.

”People talk about their bubble bursting but that’s rubbish. Nothing has changed with them as far as I’m concerned and we’ve got to be prepared for them. ” – AFP



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