Louis van Gaal 'can't wait' to start at Man Utd - Ryan Giggs

By Simon StoneBBC Sport
Man Utd assistant boss Ryan Giggs says he has had phone and email contact with Louis van Gaal

Ryan Giggs says Louis van Gaal will "relish" the challenge as Manchester United boss, after it was announced the Dutchman will take charge of his first game at Old Trafford on 12 August.

The 62-year-old's home debut will be a friendly against Valencia but, before that, Van Gaal and his squad will embark on a tour of the United States.

"He can't wait," said Giggs. "He's not scared about the challenge.

"He's been at Bayern, Barcelona. He has the experience to do it."

Van Gaal will take charge of a squad which finished seventh last term under previous manager David Moyes.

Manchester United tour dates
23 July v Los Angeles Galaxy
26 July v AS Roma (Denver)
29 July v Inter Milan (Washington)
2 August v Real Madrid (Michigan)
4 August Champions Cup final (Miami)

Only 12 months earlier, the club had won a 20th top-flight title in the final season of Sir Alex Ferguson's 26-year reign.

It was claimed Moyes was out of his depth,external-link but United assistant manager Giggs does not believe Van Gaal, who led the Netherlands to the World Cup semi-finals, will be similarly overwhelmed.

"Louis has a clear philosophy and he sticks to that philosophy," said the Welshman. "He won't be afraid of taking over Manchester United. He'll relish it.

"It won't be easy. It never is. But I was excited about how forthright and how clear he was about what he expects from the staff and the players."

Midfielder Darren Fletcher reported a different feel to life on the training ground, stating: "There's a real buzz around the place again."

Van Gaal is yet to experience it himself, however, because of his commitments with the Dutch national team.

Now retired, Giggs was in charge for the start of pre-season training on Monday.

Van Gaal sent new coaches Albert Stuivenbergexternal-link and Marcel Bout to assist Giggs, although even from South America he still had a significant input.

"Everything's been planned by Louis," he said. "Albert and Marcel know how he works so the blueprint has been prepared by Louis and we're just following it."

Although Netherlands were beaten on penalties by Argentina in Wednesday's World Cup semi-final, they still have another game to play - against hosts Brazil in Saturday's third-place play-off.

Van Gaal is expected to arrive in Manchester early next week.

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