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Giggs: Fergie will still be at United in five years

Ryan Giggs has praised Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson as the key to his longevity, and revealed his belief that his boss will still be in the Old Trafford hotseat "in five years time".

• Giggs scoopes BBC Sports Personality award

Giggs, 36, is expected to sign a new deal keeping him at Old Trafford until 2011 in the near future but expects to retire before his 67-year-old manager who he claims "still has that desire''.

"I think it will be me (retiring first). The manager is as good as ever and will go on for a long time," the newly crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year told the Times.

"I can still see him as manager of United in five years' time, easily, because as long as he is healthy he will have the desire to carry on.

"He has a great team around him, he has his passions away from the game and can get away with his horse racing. When he comes back to football he is refreshed, and I know he still has that desire.''

Ferguson will take charge of his 900th league match with Manchester United, against Wolves on Tuesday, but Giggs is unlikely to be involved after picking up a hamstring injury in Saturday's 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa.

United looked vulnerable against Villa, and Giggs admitted he struggled to concentrate at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year ceremony because he was still replaying the defeat in his mind.

"I'm hungrier for the game than I've ever been," Giggs said. "I was sat there taking everything in during the ceremony and still thinking about the game the night before. It still hurts that we got beat.

"If defeats are still hurting you then it shows you have still got that desire to carry on, and that's certainly the case at the moment.

"I'm probably playing the best I have ever played at the moment and enjoying it more than ever before. As long as I'm enjoying it and getting picked and the desire is still there I'll carry on.''

Giggs also paid tribute to the role Ferguson has played in prolonging his longevity and admitted he was grateful to have had just one manager throughout his career, something almost completely unheard of in modern professional football.

"It's helped me because the manager has known me from such a young age and that if I have had a couple of bad games he knows I'm going to come around and start playing well again,'' he added.

"If a new manager comes in, then you never know. You can lose a bit of form and they think you are finished. I've been very lucky to have not just one manager but such a great manager.''

A win for United would take them level on points with leaders Chelsea at the top of the Premier League table, though the Blues play tomorrow. Mick McCarthy's unfancied side go into the game on the back of their biggest result of the season after winning 1-0 away to Spurs.

Dimitar Berbatov and Michael Owen will hope to be involved for United, who beat Wolves in the Carling Cup earlier this season courtesy of a goal from Danny Welbeck.


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