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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Ryan Giggs 'hurt' by Manchester United's Champions League absence

Manchester United assistant manager Ryan Giggs has told The Times it "hurts" not being in the Champions League.

United failed to progress from the group stage of the competition this season, while last campaign they did not take part after failing to qualify under former boss David Moyes.

Giggs, who lifted the Champions League twice as a player for United, is saddened his side are no longer competing in Europe's premier competition.

Speaking ahead of Thursday's Europa League meeting with Liverpool, he said: "It hurts that we are not in it, of course. We had a year out of the Champions League and we missed it. We do miss it [now]. You watch it on TV and you wish you were involved.

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"It's the elite competition. As a footballer you want challenges and as coaching staff you want to be challenging the best coaches in the world."

United face a battle to secure a top-four finish this season, with the sixth-placed club four points outside the Champions League places with nine matches remaining.

Giggs said: "It's not a big gap. Especially when you look at the league this season, teams are going to drop points.

"We have a lot of players back so if you win games the momentum starts and the confidence builds. That is our objective over the next few games.

"And we will try to turn it around against Liverpool. It's something we believe we can do.

"It's been a freak season. It's a very tough league where nothing is guaranteed and crazy things have happened. We are still in the Europa League, the FA Cup and trying to get into the top four. Those are the main objectives."

Regarding his future following suggestions he become United's next permanent boss, Giggs added: "I am relaxed about it. I am enjoying coaching. I would like to win more games, and be further up the table, but going out on the pitch and putting on sessions is probably the next best thing to playing."


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