With just a month to go until Ryan Giggs hits the ripe old age of 39 the door seems to be closing on the Manchester United veteran’s illustrious career.
The Welsh winger has not started for United since the home battering by Tottenham – he was hauled off at haul time – and has been unable to prise his way into the competitive midfield.
But the club’s most-decorated player is aware of his position within the team and knows he will always find it difficult to compete with Tom Cleverley, Shinji Kagawa, Nani, Ashley Young, Michael Carrick, Darren Fletcher, Anderson, Paul Scholes and Antonio Valencia.
“With the players we have I don’t expect to start every game,” said Giggs.
“I am just trying to pick up games wherever I can and influence them like I have done in the past.
“I haven’t found it difficult. I want to play and I want to be in the team.
“But I am experienced enough to know that come the business end of the season, the experienced lads will be needed and I will be ready.”
Sir Alex Ferguson takes his men to Chelsea on Sunday for a top of the table clash – United will be hoping to snatch their first win at Stamford Bridge in a decade.
And after last season’s dramatic three-goal comeback, Giggs is expecting another tough encounter against Roberto Di Matteo’s remodelled squad.
“Chelsea are a talented team,” Giggs added.
“They have changed the personnel a bit with Oscar, Hazard and Mata, who play in those little pockets and are so hard to pick up.
“Only time will tell if they are better. But it doesn’t really matter because you know you are up against a very good team when you pay Chelsea, and it will always be tough at Stamford Bridge.”
United conceded two sloppy early goals at home to FC Braga on Tuesday – the eighth time they have gone behind in the 12 games this season – but Giggs is taking the positives from their ability to claw their way back into ties.
“There are two ways of looking at it,” he said.
“Obviously we are pleased that we are able to come back and have shown great character in those eight games.
“But you cannot keep relying on the lads up front to score the goals.
“It is something we have looked at and are still looking at.
“It has happened again against Braga but against Chelsea if we go behind it will be tough to come back.”