Thursday 29 September 2016

Given says stricken Petrov can inspire Villa in relegation fight

Published 07/01/2013 | 05:00

Shay Given believes that Aston Villa's stricken captain Stiliyan Petrov can be the team's inspiration as they attempt to rescue their season from the threat of relegation.

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Petrov, who was diagnosed with leukaemia last March, spoke to the Villa players before their 2-1 FA Cup third-round win over Ipswich.

Saturday's game provided a rare opportunity for Given, who has lost his place in Villa's Premier League team to Brad Guzan.

"Stiliyan asked me if I was playing and if I could remember what I am supposed to do," said Given, who made a late save from Aaron McLean to deny Ipswich a draw.

"It's great to see he has still got his sense of humour. It puts everything in perspective and it gives everyone a huge lift.

"We know we are in a relegation fight, but to see the fight Stan is making is really inspirational. He is still having difficult treatment but he is a real fighter."

Petrov is in remission but needs more chemotherapy.

Irish Independent

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