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Monday, August 11, 2008

Giggsy looks to Magpies test

Ryan Giggs was quick to move on after picking up his record seventh Community Shield winner's medal, fixing his sights on next Sunday's Premier League title defence opener against Newcastle.

While the Wembley showpiece has a trophy well worth winning, Giggs concedes that it's far more useful as a springboard for the commencement of another new season.

"It means a lot [to win it]," he told Setanta Sports. "You want to get off to a good start and you don't want to lose it.

"At the end of the day it's really for fitness and it's the last game before the start of the season, but it's really nice to win it as well.

"We want to start from where we left off last season. It'll be difficult, it always is in the Premier League, the Champions League and the cups. Every competition is difficult and you have to prepare right and have that hunger, and I'm sure the lads have got that."

Having watched close friend and long-term colleague Gary Neville start his first competitive fixture in almost 18 months, Giggs is hopeful that the Reds' club captain will be among those gearing up to face Newcastle next Sunday.

"It was a great game for Gary to play in," said the winger. "He's played a couple of games in pre-season and it's a really good test of his fitness. He'll be ready for next week. Hopefully nobody will pick up any knocks and we'll all be ready for next week."

Manc to blank

They Started as they mean to go on, collecting yet more silverware without even breaking stride. But with a penalty shoot-out victory as far removed from the drama of Moscowas you could possibly get allowing Gary Neville to lift the Community Shield, Sir Alex Ferguson will know the big questions are still to come. Yes, United could have won by five or six, rather than having to watch Portsmouth capitulate from 12 yards - and probably would have done so without David James. But someone has to come up with the goals Ronaldo brought to the table last term - and 42 is a tally he cannot beexpected to repeat even when he does return.
Martin Lipton, The Mirror