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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Giggs: We need to be hungry

Ryan Giggs admits United must match Chelsea for hunger in order to retain the Barclays Premier League trophy for a third straight season.

The Reds have pipped the Blues to the title in the last two seasons and, having endured barren years himself with United, Giggs is well aware of the galvanising effect such silverware starvation can have.

"They didn't win the Premier League last year," Ryan told Sky Sports News.

"I've been in that position where you've not won it. You're hungry and determined, and you want to win it, simple as that.

"We've got to match their determination, their hunger and their desire. We've got players at the club who've tasted success over the last couple of years and want more."

Chelsea made a flying start to the new campaign by crushing Portsmouth at Stamford Bridge, while an injury-hit United side were held at home by Newcastle.

Giggs isn't too perturbed to be trailing Luiz Felipe Scolari's side so early on, however, and feels that the signing of a new striker would further enhance United's chances of completing a Premier League hat-trick.

"We're all disappointed we didn't win as every team wants to get off to a winning start, but we did okay," he said. "Obviously, Carlos was not there on Sunday, which was disappointing, and Wayne missed a bit of pre-season.

"He would have liked a few more games under his belt, while Fraizer is a young lad. Ideally you want four or five strikers, but we haven't got that.

"I think we're always getting linked with players, especially when you don't win the first game, and you've got a couple of strikers injured or missing."

Wes has faith in strike pair

Wes Brown is backing Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez to fire the goals United have been missing in recent weeks when the pair are reunited against Portsmouth on Monday.

Rooney returned against Newcastle after virus disrupted his pre-season, but Tevez missed the match to fly home following a family bereavement. However, United could have both players fit and firing to face Portsmouth at Fratton Park.

"We've not scored too many goals recently,” admits Wes Brown.

“But we've had quite a few injuries so I'm not too concerned. Wayne has not played much and any side would miss him. But I'm sure we'll fine [with him back in the team]."

Rooney looked slightly short of match fitness against the Magpies, but 90 minutes of action can only aid his sharpness. Meanwhile, Tevez looked like a man possessed during pre-season, and will look to pick up where he left off when he returns to Manchester.

"Carlos [Tevez] was incredible on his own up front in pre-season," adds Wes. "He's looked really sharp and hungry - I don't know where he gets his energy from."

The 1-1 draw against Newcastle on the opening day was not the ideal start to United’s title defence. But with three Premier League away games in a row against Portsmouth, Liverpool (Sat 13 Sept) and Chelsea (Sun 21 Sept), the Reds must quickly move on.

Brown knows not to underestimate the challenge ahead of retaining the English and European crowns. “There’s a buzz around the place after last season’s success,” he says. “But it’s going to be tough to retain the two trophies, or even win more.”

Arsenal are taking the Mik

Arsene Wenger has hijacked Manchester City’s bid to sign Mikael Silvestre. The Manchester United defender, 31, was undergoing a medical at neighbours City when he got a call telling him Arsenal were interested. Silvestre immediately abandoned the medical and hurtled down the M1 to meet Gunners boss Wenger and discuss terms. An Arsenal insider confirmed: “Arsene has been looking for experienced cover for Gael Clichy and he knows all about Mikael. Arsene has followed his career and the fact he is French is a bonus.” The France left-back, who joined United from Inter for £4m in 1999, made six appearances last season and was granted a free transfer this summer.
Antony Kastrinakas, The Sun