Sport Soccer

Wednesday 26 April 2017

Given chasing January loan switch in bid to get sharp for Ireland

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

SHAY GIVEN has reiterated his desire to move away from Manchester City on loan in January as he fears for his international place.

The Ireland goalkeeper is set for talks with manager Roberto Mancini and club officials regarding a potential move away from Eastlands, where he has played second fiddle to England's Joe Hart this season.

Having played for City in their 3-0 Europa League win over Red Bull Salzburg on Thursday night, Given is expected to be on the bench when Mancini names his team to face Bolton today.

The Donegal man has not featured in the Premier League this season and has admitted his frustration with his situation. Asked whether he is "satisfied" with his current predicament, the 34-year-old laughed wryly.

"It is frustrating," he said. "You want to be playing football but I am in the position I am in and there is not a lot I can do.

"We'll see what happens in January; maybe I can try and go on loan or something like that. I will have to speak to the club in the meantime and see what their thoughts on the whole situation are."

Allure

Starting in the Europa League could lead to a place at the Aviva Stadium final next May, but while the Lifford man admits that holds some allure, doing well for Ireland is more important.

Given is concerned that a lack of first-team opportunities will leave him rusty for Ireland's European Championship qualifiers next year and believes a move away will ensure he doesn't lose his form or his place in Giovanni Trapattoni's side.

And having taken some criticism from former international team-mate Roy Keane for picking up caps in friendly matches to boost his huge total, currently at 105 -- rather than letting younger goalkeepers have a go -- Given defended his position.

"It would be fantastic to pick up the UEFA Cup in Dublin," he said. "It'd be a bit of a fairytale really.

"But there is a lot of football to be played between now and then and we'd have to see what the position is with my own situation as well.

"It is imperative that I play, because we have big competitive games for Ireland and we want to qualify for Euro 2012. So it is important that I play, it's imperative, so hopefully something can get sorted.

"It's not about me gaining caps it's about me, hopefully, giving something to the team and I'll stop playing when I'm not able to do that."

Irish Independent

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