Alex Ferguson once told Ryan Giggs to forget about five games so he’d be ready for Michael Ballack

Alex Ferguson was not the kind of manager to think just one game at a time.

According to Ryan Giggs, Alex Ferguson once told him to forget about Manchester United’s next five games because the legendary Red Devils manager was saving Giggs for the upcoming visit of Chelsea.

After identifying a weakness in then-Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack, Ferguson wanted Giggs at his freshest with the aim of exploiting Ballack.

“The majority of the time he could trust us to play a role, I played midfield at Old Trafford against Chelsea,” Giggs told The Greatest Game podcast with Jamie Carragher.

“He pulled me like three weeks before the game. He said, ‘We’re playing Chelsea, I want you to play in midfield against Michael Ballack. He doesn’t like players running at him, you’ll give him nightmares.’

“Three weeks away, there’s like five games in between. I said, ‘What about the other games in between?’

“He says: ‘Forget about them. Just get yourself ready for Chelsea.’ It was that sort of thing. Okay, you’d be subbed, be in and out of the team but get yourself right for that.”

After learning from the greatest, Giggs has long-been touted as a future manager of United but the current Wales boss doesn’t expect to ever take charge of the Red Devils.

While he acted as interim manager after David Moyes was dismissed in 2014 and worked as Louis van Gaal’s assistant until 2016, Giggs believes the ship has sailed for him to manage United.

Giggs previously revealed that no conversation took place with Jose Mourinho regarding a potential position on the Portuguese’s coaching staff at Old Trafford.

Giggs explained: “If I’m honest, I wanted the job [after Moyes was sacked]. But I wasn’t ready.

“There is a trend at the moment with younger coaches who have played for the club getting the jobs.

“At that time there was still a lot of the older managers coming in. They were seen as safe. I wanted the job when I had those four games, but I wasn’t ready.

“I was definitely ready after Louis [was sacked] and I wanted the job but I was nowhere near it.

“I’m more ready now but I think that’s gone now, I think the chance has gone now.

“I think it’s gone, I’ve done it. I’m happy with the job I’ve got. I can’t see that coming around again.”

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