Ryan Giggs determined to win over Wales doubters

LONDON (AFP) – Ryan Giggs is determined to win over his doubters and believes that the 2020 European Championship campaign will define his time as Wales manager.

Wales start their Euro 2020 qualifiers at home to Slovakia on Sunday, with the jury still out on Giggs’s 14 months in charge since he succeeded Chris Coleman.

Giggs has a record of three wins, one draw and five defeats from his nine games in charge.

But the former Manchester United star has fast-tracked an exciting group of young players into the senior set-up, and the 4-1 demolition of Ireland in the Nations League last September saw Wales produce some scintillating football.

Wales eventually finished second in their Nations League group behind Denmark and Giggs said, “I put myself under pressure last year so whether it’s a honeymoon period or not, I’m not too sure.

“I put myself under pressure. That’s the only pressure I feel really.

“I think I will be judged on the qualifying games, I knew that going into the job. Getting Wales to a major championships, that’s how I will be judged.”

Coleman guided Wales to the semi-finals of Euro 2016, the country’s first appearance at a major tournament for 58 years but his six-year stay came to an end after Wales failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

“People do expect (qualification), understandably because of what we achieved at Euro 2016,” said Giggs ahead of yesterday’s pre-Slovakia friendly with Trinidad and Tobago in Wrexham.

“But it’s been once in 60 years, so we don’t qualify on a regular basis. That’s what my job is now, to qualify or at least compete. We didn’t qualify for the World Cup, but we competed.

“In the past we nearly got somewhere and in the next campaign we were nowhere near. We want to be competing or getting close on a consistent basis. If we do that then we will get to more championships than not.”