Sat, Nov 15, 2003 - Page 19 News List

Russia sees Giggs as No. 1 danger man


Russia have identified Ryan Giggs as the man who could wreck their chances of reaching next summer's Euro 2004 finals -- and that is just fine by Wales manager Mark Hughes.

Russia coach Georgy Yartsev admitted this week that he would be rearranging his defense to counter the attacking threat posed by Giggs, who has been playing close to his best for Manchester United this season.

"A player of such class demands permanent attention from the opponents' defense as he can make dangerous moves at any time," Yartsev said.

"Our defenders shall do their best throughout the 180 minutes to neutralize him."

The implied suggestion that Giggs can expect some tough treatment in the bitter cold of Moscow during today's first leg, did not come as a surprise to Hughes, who feels Wales may benefit from Russia concentrating their attention on Giggs.

"To Russian eyes, Ryan is the most recognizable player in our squad," Hughes acknowledged.

"They will pay special attention to him, as anybody would. He is a world class player.

"But we are more than just Ryan Giggs. We have threats in other areas and I'm quite happy they think they will have to pay special attention to Ryan because that should open up space for us in other parts of the field."

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