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Hughes tells Giggs to take Wales job
Published : 11 Sep 2010 09:40:00
Mark Hughes believes Ryan Giggs could - and should - combine playing for Manchester United with the Wales manager's job if offered it. Giggs is among the favourites to succeed John Toshack, who stood down following a poor start to qualifying for Euro 2012. Hughes began his managerial career with Wales in 1999 and almost steered them into Euro 2004 before his success attracted the attention of Blackburn. Giggs has previously stated he would like to coach his country at some stage and Hughes believes there are few better ways for the 36-year-old to move into management. "I was still playing in the Premier League when I got the Wales job," said the Fulham boss. "I initially thought I could play and manage but quickly found out that was impossible. "The way I coped with it was by separating both roles. At the club I was very much a player but had a different attitude when I was with the international squad. "Maybe if Ryan got the job he'd do it in a different way and it will be interesting to see if he's interested in it. "He has to decide if it's right for him but I'd recommend it to him. If he rang I'd say take it. "If he does go for it, he needs to surround himself with good staff who will protect and help him. "For me it was the best thing I ever did - it enabled me to become the manager I am now because it's a huge learning curve. "It exposes you initially and you can think 'what the hell happened there?', but then you have the window to sit back and review how to do things better. "As a learning experience for a young manager it's fantastic. "Everyone says international football is for older managers, but I think it's fantastic opportunity for a young manager." Hughes has advised the Football Association of Wales to appoint a Welshman to succeed Toshack. "Ideally it should be a Welshman. That's important. You have an insight that someone from outside the country doesn't have," he said. "It might not be something tangible. It's innate within you. You can impart that feeling to the players because you're one of them." Hughes understands the reasons behind Toshack's departure and admits it can be a challenging role. "It's a difficult job. It can be really rewarding because managing your country is a great honour and privilege," he said. "But at times it can also be really frustrating because sometimes you're trying to work with your hands behind your back in terms of the resources and availability of players. "I'm sure that was a frustration for John Toshack on many occasions, as it was for me. "But when you get positive results, and I think back to that game against Italy at the Millennium Stadium with 75,000 people there which was one of the best night playing or managing I've been involved in, there are great highs. "I'm sure John will be disappointed that it didn't work out but he had a long tenure, more than most. It wasn't as fruitful as he would have liked. "I wasn't surprised when he resigned. You have to have a good start to the campaign, which then sets the tone for the group. "If you have a setback the confidence and enthusiasm can be hard to get back, but when you get a win the whole nation comes with you."