Saturday 25 November 2017

Given and Doyle boost for Trapattoni

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

SHAY Given and Kevin Doyle have given Giovanni Trapattoni a major boost ahead of next month's key Euro 2012 double header.

Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish has eased concerns that Given might have suffered another injury blow by declaring him fit for this weekend's Premier League fixture against Blackburn, while Doyle came through the opening day unscathed despite the Ireland manager's fears that the striker would miss the clashes with Slovakia and Russia with a recurrence of his knee injury.

As well as confirming his new goalkeeper's well-being, McLeish gave Given a ringing endorsement after his opening-day heroics earned a point at Fulham on Saturday.

"He's on the mend, he should be okay for the weekend," McLeish said. "His reading of the game is terrific. He's still got the reaction times that sometimes a goalkeeper needs in that split second when he's making a save. It's all about reactions."

Meanwhile, Doyle has confirmed Wolves boss Mick McCarthy's assertion that his knee injury was not as bad as Trapattoni feared when he was forced out of last week's friendly with Croatia.

But after an action-packed opening day win over Blackburn, the striker -- who missed a penalty and required stitches to a head wound at half-time -- said he came through unscathed and is fully fit.

"It was my left knee and it was sore in training just striking the ball -- it seems like I've damaged some scar tissue from the previous injury. But after the scans on Friday, it was fine. So it's not a problem," he explained.

Irish Independent

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