By David Williams
Ryan Giggs admits he will put the noses of some big name managers out of joint this season – all so Wales can sniff out more success at the Euro finals next summer.
Giggs has recognised that club and international managers are bound to upset each other during a congested fixture list like no other.
The new Premier League campaign – which starts on September 12 – will be five weeks shorter than a standard season after the late end to 2019-20 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The need to cram the fixtures in has seen the planned winter break scrapped, and Giggs knows player welfare will be a huge issue heading into next summer’s delayed European Championships.
“I’m sure I will do things that will upset the club managers and vice-versa but that comes with the territory,” Giggs said.
“You try and just negate that as much as you can. The young managers, Mikel (Arteta), Frank Lampard, I played against or I know from being on coaching courses with them.
“Others I don’t know so much, but we have good communication with the clubs and make sure we look after the players as much as we can.
“If there’s any risk we have to take careful consideration in terms of how many games the players have played and what’s their injury record.
“It’s not something we will get right all the time, sometimes there is a calculated gamble in there.
“We definitely do our best to look after the players’ welfare, we want players fit for the summer and we don’t take any chances that players are going to get injuries.
“But my job is to make sure Wales win games, so it’s always a bit of a balance.”
Giggs says he has no issues with Gareth Bale not playing regularly for Real Madrid ahead of Wales’ game with Finland and Bulgaria
Wales return to action this week for the first time since qualifying for Euro 2020 last November.
Their Nations League campaign starts with a visit to Finland on Thursday before Bulgaria come to Cardiff three days later.
Think that’s the end of the ‘Neco Williams for England’ stories then.
Ryan Giggs: “I spoke to Neco and he wanted to play for Wales. He’s proud to play for Wales and I’m really excited to work with him.”
— Phil Blanche (@philblanche) August 25, 2020
The Republic of Ireland complete the League B, Group Four section and Gareth Bale is expected to lead Wales despite falling out of favour with Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane.
“I understand the point that players could potentially go into the Euros fresh,” Giggs said. “Players want that bulk and volume of games so they feel good and strong.
“There’s a fine balance between fresh and having games under your belt where you are really match fit. I just have to monitor it.
“Ideally, I want my players playing but my experience so far is you don’t get that. It’s important to have that big pool of players to choose.”