United are starting to fire - Giggs issues warning after Cup victory

Ryan Giggs can sense the familiar momentum starting to build at Manchester United - which is bad news for Saturday's opponents Bolton.  

After taking encouragement from successive draws against Villarreal and Chelsea in the Champions League and Barclays Premier League respectively, United finally got the win they craved by beating Middlesbrough at Old Trafford on Tuesday night.  

Ryan Giggs

Chip off the old block: Giggs scores his 145th goal for United

It might only have been the Carling Cup and they might only have been facing 10 men for the last 20 minutes following Emanuel Pogatetz's disgraceful challenge on Rodrigo Possebon but for United, the win could take on far more significance than merely booking a place in the fourth round.

"We have had a tough start," acknowledged Giggs.  

"We didn't play well at the beginning of the season but over the last week or so we have played some really good stuff.  

"This team is capable of going on a run and winning 10 games on the trot. Hopefully that run has started now and we can carry it on against Bolton."  

Unlike 12 months ago, when, much to Sir Alex Ferguson's frustration, the Red Devils folded on home soil against Coventry, there were plenty of positives.  

Five younger members of the Scot's squad showed promise, a few older ones, including Giggs, got some valuable match practice under their belts, while Cristiano Ronaldo got his name on the scoresheet for the first time since last May's Champions League final.  

Unfortunately, it was all overshadowed by the horror tackle on Possebon.  

The young Brazilian had been patrolling central midfield in outstanding fashion and was starting to trigger thoughts of just how long Ferguson could keep him out of his starting line-up when Pogatetz made his crass lunge.


Possebon in agony after red card challenge by Pogatetz

Thankfully, the Middlesbrough skipper did not break the 19-year-old's leg as originally feared.  

However, Possebon may have suffered ligament damage and is facing the prospect of a spell on the sidelines.  

"It was very high," said Giggs of Pogatetz's tackle.  

"The ball wasn't up there. The ball was on the floor and he went over it.  

"Rodrigo suffered a really bad, deep cut but hopefully he will be okay because he did really well."  

Possebon's drive in the middle of the pitch helped United win the midfield duel and with Giggs relishing the chance to run at a Middlesbrough defence for whom only David Wheater really shone, the hosts could have been coasting at half-time.  

Instead, they only had Ronaldo's effort to show for their efforts, although the Portugal international's header, similar to the one he produced in the Luzhniki Stadium, was a poignant one given his tumultuous summer.  

"No-one wants to lose Cristiano," said Giggs.  

"He is such a special player, as he proved again.  

"He scores all sorts of goals, which is why he is such a danger. He looks really sharp and it is great to have him back."

Emanuel Pogatetz

Middlesbrough's Emanuel Pogatetz fouls Manchester United's Rodrigo Possebon

Ferguson must now decide whether, with another hour under his belt, Ronaldo is ready to be let loose on Bolton, the team he made his United debut against in 2003.  

The same is also true of Anderson, who has looked out of sorts since returning from Olympic duty with Brazil, although Ferguson detects the South American is nearly back to his best again.  

"There is no doubt Anderson felt the effects of being in China," said the United boss.  

"When he played his first game at Portsmouth the adrenalin kept him going but since then he has been pretty low.  

"Now it seems he is back to his usual self, which is great to see."  

Giggs too is eager to make a contribution.  

At 34, the Welshman has virtually come full circle, using the League Cup as valuable match practice whereas at the start of his illustrious career it was to show his ability, which has never seriously been in question.  

With 764 appearances to his name, Giggs is edging his club record way beyond Sir Bobby Charlton to a level it is impossible to imagine anyone ever reaching.  

And his 145th goal - a delightful chip 11 minutes from time after Chris Riggott had stood on the ball - means he is just five short of becoming the ninth United player to reach the magic 150.  

"It was a nice goal," Giggs said of his latest effort.  

"I made my mind up quite early. I knew what I was going to do as soon as I went through so all I had to do was stick to it."

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