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Is a title challenge possible for Man Utd?

Manchester United
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By ESPN Staff

Ferguson finds new role for Giggs

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has officially declared Ryan Giggs' days as a left-wing raider over.

Giggs will celebrate his 35th birthday in November, now accepting he can no longer be regarded as a first-choice United player.

However, that does not mean Ferguson is ready to throw the Welshman on the scrapheap.

On the contrary, the Scot now views Giggs as more important than he has ever been.

Not only is United's club record appearance holder a major influence on the younger members of Ferguson's squad, he is also capable of making a major impact on the pitch.

He was arguably the Old Trafford outfit's man-of-the-match in Tuesday's Carling Cup win over Middlesbrough and his goal, a brilliant effort from the edge of the box after Chris Riggott stood on the ball, left him just five short of becoming only the ninth United player to score 150 times for the club.

But what Ferguson has to do is control the number of games Giggs plays to ensure he is used to maximum effect. And that means not asking him to terrorise full-backs the way he used to.

"Ryan has been absolutely brilliant," said Ferguson.

"What we have to do is manage him. We want him nice and fresh at the end of the season because he can decide games for us.

"That is the great quality he has. But I see Ryan as a central player.

"At 34, tramping up and down the touchline is beyond him now."

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