Ryan Giggs revealed Sir Alex Ferguson pulled him aside three weeks ahead of a clash with Chelsea to instruct him on how to give Michael Ballack ‘nightmares’.
Manchester United legend Giggs was told by the managerial great to ‘ignore’ other matches in between the Chelsea fixture in order to focus on a midfield battle with the Germany international.
While he was in and out of the team, Giggs never felt he lost the trust of Ferguson and he gave him a specific role to run directly at Ballack – something he ‘doesn’t like’.
And everything else at that moment was unimportant to Sir Alex.
‘The majority of the time he could trust us to play a role,’ Giggs told The Greatest Game with Jamie Carragher. ‘I go back, played midfield at Old Trafford against Chelsea.
‘He pulled me like three weeks before the game. He said, “We’re playing Chelsea, I want you to play in midfield against Michael Ballack. He doesn’t like players running at him, you’ll give him nightmares”.
‘I think it was the quarter-finals of the Champions League. I’d been in and out of the team at the time.
‘Three weeks away, there’s like five games in between. I said, “What about the other games in between?”
‘It was that sort of thing. Okay, you’d be subbed, be in and out of the team but get yourself right for that.’