A “tremendously proud” Ryan Giggs has promised to lead Wales with both professionalism and “a little bit of fun along the way”.
The 44-year-old former Manchester United winger was on Monday announced as Chris Coleman’s successor as manager of the Welsh national team.
Speaking at his official unveiling at Hensol Castle, he told a press conference broadcast on Sky Sports News HQ: “I’m tremendously proud and excited to be the next Wales manager and I can’t wait to get going. It’s a great opportunity and I’m excited.
“I played 64 times for my country. I’d like to think I’ll be the same kind of manager as I was a player, with professionalism but also a little bit of fun along the way.”
Giggs has been out of football for 18 months since leaving the coaching staff at Old Trafford when Jose Mourinho replaced Louis van Gaal in 2016.
He revealed he had sought counsel from another former United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, after being interviewed for the Wales job last week.
“I’ve spoken to him over the last 24 hours and I’ll speak to him in more depth but obviously I want to be my own manager,” he said.
“I was itching to get back into football, that’s where I belong.”
Giggs understands his status as one of Wales’ greatest ever players is no guarantee he will succeed as the national team’s boss.
He added: “It opens doors but so many times it’s been said having a good career as a player doesn’t make you a good manager.
“I’ve got a great group of players to work with who have been so successful over the last four or five years. Who can forget watching us at the Euros? I want to get us back there.
“I think there’s a good balance. There’s experienced players and good young players coming through and I can’t wait to work with them.”
Giggs appreciates his appointment may not be to everybody’s taste, but believes the best way to win over doubters is through hard work and success.
He said: “I’m not on social media for that very reason, so I haven’t seen much of the criticism. But I know that the criticism is going to come and the way to combat that is to win games and give it my all, and that’s what I’ll do.
“That’s the beauty about football, everyone has an opinion, and you have to take that.
“You take that as a player and now I’ve got to take that as a manager. It’s just about striking that balance and all I can do is work as hard as I can to produce a winning team.”
Giggs confirmed he had yet to appoint any of his backroom team following a “whirlwind 24 hours”, but added: “I’ve got a few ideas and whoever it will be they will give their all and be professional and organised.”
One of the names touted as a possible contender to join the new coaching set-up is the FAW’s technical director Osian Roberts, Coleman’s former assistant who had also been in the running for the Wales job.
Giggs said: “There’s a conversation to be had. What Osian has done for Welsh football over the years, and will continue to do in his technical director role…
“I know him, I know how he feels about Welsh football, the passion, and we’ll speak in the near future.”