Press Association

Ryan Giggs has admitted he is more nervous ahead of his first game as Wales manager than he ever was as a player at Manchester United.

The 44-year-old will take charge of his first Wales match on Thursday when his side take on the hosts in the China Cup at the 60,000-capacity Guangxi Sports Center Stadium in Nanning (kick-off 11.35am GMT).

Giggs played for United and Wales for over two decades, but says: “I’ll be much more nervous than I was as a player.

“I never really got nervous as a player, but coming into management is completely different, as there are so many things to think about.

“As a player, you’re quite selfish and making sure you’re doing your job within the team. But as a manager, you are always thinking: ‘Have you forgotten anything? What can be improved?’

“So it’s about preparing the team as best I can with my staff, then you evaluate what you could do better and what you did well. It’s completely different from being a player.”

Giggs took charge of United for four games in 2014 in an interim role, but his role with Wales is his first as a permanent manager.

He is now looking to put his stamp on his own team, explaining: “The most important thing is to win games. But in the right way, just like when I was a player.

“You want to play attractive football and entertain, but you have to do the basics like working hard as well.

“I’m lucky to inherit a side with a good team spirit, and every successful team needs to have a good team spirit.”

Wales are 45 places higher than China in the FIFA rankings, but Giggs is expecting a difficult game against a side coached by World Cup winner Marcelo Lippi.

He said: “The preparation has been good but we’ve got a tough game against a China team with a great manager.

“It’s going to be tough not only because of the manager, but the fact it’s China at home. We’ve watched videos and they are very aggressive, they play on the front foot.”

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