London – Manchester United interim manager Ryan Giggs has the potential to replicate Pep Guardiola's success as coach of Barcelona, according to goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard.
“It might sound pretty rash and naive, but, in my opinion, we are dealing with a new Guardiola,” Lindegaard told BBC Sport on Tuesday.
“What we have seen in the first week has been more than convincing. The similarities with Sir Alex Ferguson are striking and it is evident that Ryan Giggs has learned from one of history's most respected football managers.”
Giggs, United's record appearance-maker, was placed in temporary charge of the United first team last week after David Moyes was sacked just 10 months into a six-year contract as the successor to Ferguson.
In his first game at the helm, Giggs oversaw a 4-0 victory at home to Norwich City, and Lindegaard says that the 40-year-old midfielder made an immediate impression on his one-time team-mates.
“Some would question whether you can go from being a team-mate one day to a manager the next. Normally I would have reservations as well, but, in the case of Giggs, it is different,” the Dane added.
“His latest speech, before the team went onto the pitch for the Norwich game, made my hairs stand on end in a way that I have only ever experienced from Sir Alex Ferguson: 'Do not disappoint the fans!'“
Giggs is reportedly not in contention to succeed Moyes on a permanent basis at United, with Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal and Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said to be among the front-runners for the post.
Now the coach of Bayern Munich, Guardiola made his name as a player with Barcelona before becoming coach in 2008. He led the club to 14 titles before stepping down two years ago. – Sapa-AFP