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Giggs: We won't be distracted
3:23pm Tuesday 29th January 2013 in Sport
Ryan Giggs insists Manchester United will not allow thoughts of Real Madrid to cloud their Premier League contest against Saints tomorrow night.
It is now just two weeks until United head to Spain for a summit meeting with Jose Mourinho and a reunion with Cristiano Ronaldo to scrap it out for a place in the Champions League quarter-finals.
However, Giggs is acutely aware three key domestic engagements must be navigated first, starting with tomorrow's Old Trafford encounter with Saints.
''We're not thinking about Madrid,'' said Giggs. ''Everyone was excited when the draw was made but you can't look too far ahead.
''You want to perform in games like that and be in good form going into them. That is what we intend to do and the best way of achieving that is to concentrate on the opponents immediately ahead.''
As someone who has played a professional career now approaching its 22nd year under the guidance of one man, Giggs is not the most obvious person to ask about the upheaval at St Mary's following Nigel Adkins' recent dismissal.
Yet Giggs doesn't expect the managerial change to have any adverse effect on the Saints team.
''Players just get on with it,'' he said. ''Everyone was shocked when Nigel Adkins went, but ultimately players have got a job to do.
''The new manager (Mauricio Pochettino) will put his ideas across and players will just get on with it.''
Thus far, Pochettino has only had one game to deal with, which resulted in a home draw against Everton.
Of far more significance to Giggs is that result being part of a run which has seen the Saints go six Premier League games unbeaten, and lose two of their last 13 - enough to haul themselves out of the relegation zone and edge away from trouble.
The warning will be enough to trigger the return of 22-goal Robin van Persie, who sat out Saturday's FA Cup win over Fulham but is looking for a new personal landmark of scoring in six consecutive league matches.
In addition, central defensive duo Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand are also set to be recalled.
''It will be another tough game for us,'' said Giggs. ''I suppose you could say there are no easy games in this league but Southampton have been in decent form and gave us a good game earlier in the season, so we'll need to play well.
''You want to perform well for your satisfaction and your own form. It also gives you confidence going into the next game.''