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Monday 21 April 2014

Given says stricken Petrov can inspire Villa in relegation fight

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.

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.

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