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Ryan Giggs expecting disagreements with club managers

Ryan Giggs expecting disagreements with club managers
© Reuters
Wales start their Nations League campaign away to Finland on Thursday.

Wales boss Ryan Giggs admits club and international managers will upset each other during a congested season like no other.

The new Premier League campaign – which starts on September 12 – will be five weeks shorter than a standard season after the late end to 2019-20 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The need to cram the fixtures in has seen the planned winter break scrapped, and Giggs knows player welfare will be a huge issue heading into next summer's delayed European Championships.

Slovakia v Wales – UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifying – Group E – Anton Malatinsky Stadium
Ryan Giggs says players' welfare will be an issue during the shortened new season (Tim Goode/PA)

"I'm sure I will do things that will upset the club managers and vice-versa but that comes with the territory," Giggs said.

"You try and just negate that as much as you can. The young managers, Mikel (Arteta), Frank Lampard, I played against or I know from being on coaching courses with them.

"Others I don't know so much, but we have good communication with the clubs and make sure we look after the players as much as we can.

"If there's any risk we have to take careful consideration in terms of how many games the players have played and what's their injury record.

Bayern Munich v Chelsea – UEFA Champions League – Round of 16 – Second Leg – Allianz Arena
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard manages Wales midfielder Ethan Ampadu (Sven Hoppe/DPA)

"It's not something we will get right all the time, sometimes there is a calculated gamble in there.

"We definitely do our best to look after the players' welfare, we want players fit for the summer and we don't take any chances that players are going to get injuries.

"But my job is to make sure Wales win games, so it's always a bit of a balance."

Wales return to action this week for the first time since qualifying for Euro 2020 last November.

Their Nations League campaign starts with a visit to Finland on Thursday before Bulgaria come to Cardiff three days later.

The Republic of Ireland complete the League B, Group Four section and Gareth Bale is expected to lead Wales despite falling out of favour with Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane.

"I understand the point that players could potentially go into the Euros fresh," Giggs said.

"Players want that bulk and volume of games so they feel good and strong.

"There's a fine balance between fresh and having games under your belt where you are really match fit. I just have to monitor it.

"Ideally, I want my players playing but my experience so far is you don't get that. It's important to have that big pool of players to choose."

Wales' Nations League opener only got the go ahead this week after the Finland government eased Covid-19 travel restrictions for Giggs' squad.

And Giggs is wary about what could happen next summer and whether Wales will be able to take their place in a Euro 2020 group featuring Italy, Switzerland and Turkey.

When Wales dared to dream at Euro 2016
Gareth Bale is expected to lead Wales in Finland this week despite limited game time at Real Madrid (Joe Giddens/PA)

Asked whether he was confident the Euros would take place, Giggs said: "Who knows? We have to prepare that it is going to go ahead.

"But we have seen things can change pretty quickly.

"I hope so, but you just never know with this pandemic what is going to happen in the next few months, never mind the next seven, eight, nine months.

"I'll prepare as if it is going ahead, just like I will prepare for the games going ahead next week and in October and November."

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