Sunday 19 November 2017

Trap insists Given fit and ready after sitting out training

Shay Given
Shay Given

Daniel McDonnell in Gdynia

SHAY GIVEN should resume training with the rest of the Ireland squad tomorrow, with manager Giovanni Trapattoni insisting there is no problem with the goalkeeper's fitness.

The Aston Villa man was withdrawn after 45 minutes of Monday's friendly with Hungary -- a game which Trapattoni had earmarked as a test for the Donegal man's troublesome right knee.

Given shone during his time on the pitch, pulling off a string of excellent saves to thwart the hosts, and there was some concern when he failed to return after the half-time break.

However, Trapattoni says that it was a pre-arranged plan to use Keiren Westwood in the second half of the scoreless draw in Budapest.


Given (36) was present at yesterday's open training session in Gdynia, but he was wearing just a pair of runners, and his most strenuous activity was returning the ball to the other goalkeepers who were playing a bit of football tennis to entertain the crowd.

"Thank God, it is only a rest," said Trapattoni as he allayed fears that Given could be a doubt for Ireland's opener against Croatia on Sunday.

"It was decided before the game that Shay would play one half. The second half it was going to be the other 'keeper. He is fit. There is no injury."

Trapattoni delivered a similarly upbeat bulletin about right-back John O'Shea.

The Sunderland defender lasted the duration of the Hungarian encounter, and stressed afterwards that he felt fine.

O'Shea sat out parts of the light session in Gdynia's Municipal Stadium, but the management are happy with his condition.

Midfielder Glenn Whelan was also rested for a portion of the open session, with the manager stressing it was standard fare for the day after a match.

Stoke City striker Jon Walters confirmed as much.

"Obviously a lot of people come out, but we played the game yesterday and didn't get here until late last night and you don't want to do too much today and risk injury," he said.

"So it was a quiet one but very welcoming for everyone to come out like that. It was a great welcome from everyone here."

"Now we're here it's going to be building up towards that first game and I'm sure every day will be more and more intense, and the closer we get to it the more mad it will get."

Irish Independent

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