Given Likely to Face Wales

Newcastle United goalkeeper Shay Given has been struggling with a groin injury of late, but the Irishman is still optimistic of being fit for Ireland’s qualifier with Wales. The newcastle goalkeeper linked up today with his international team-mates.

Shay is now expected to be fit for Saturday’s final European 2008 qualifier in Wales, and it looks likely he will play, even though Ireland cannot now qualify for the Finals next summer.


Shay Given – expected to be fit to play against Wales on Saturday

Ireland’s caretaker manager Don Givens says it will be a big boost for the Irish squad to have Shay available. Givens told Sky Sports News today:

“Shay is arriving this evening and is very, very optimistic, so it’s great news for us,”

“He will be arriving from Newcastle with Bobby Robson, and we are looking forward to that, as it will be a big boost to the squad to have Shay.”

“Shay is vital psychologically for everybody. It’s a great boost to know he’s in the goal. Obviously he’s one of the top keepers and is a big, big player for us.”

Givens also revealed that Leeds midfielder Douglas will not be joining up with the squad after picking up a hamstring injury yesterday, but that Reading midfielder Stephen Hunt and Sunderland defender Paul McShane are both expected to be fit to play against Wales.

Don added:

“Stephen Hunt and Paul McShane, it was just a precaution that they didn’t train this morning.”

“Jonathan Douglas won’t be joining us. He did a hamstring playing for Leeds.”  “That’s the situation at the moment, everything else is fine.”

“The little knocks we had yesterday – Robbie (Keane), Kevin Doyle – have cleared up, so touch wood, we should be okay now.”

This will give Shay a little match practice, and it looks like he will be in the frame for Newcastle’s vital home league game against Liverpool a week on Saturday. It will again be interesting to see who Sam selects between Stephen Harper and Shay, after Stephen had a good game last Saturday against Sunderland.

Comments welcome.

16 comments so far

  • Leo

    Nov 14, 2007 at 7:25 PM

    Comment #1

    hope he stays fit and gets some confidence from playing against wales, i am sure he will put everything into it that he can

  • John

    Nov 14, 2007 at 8:08 PM

    Comment #2

    Great news for Ireland! Hope he can play against Liverpool as well. I can’t forgive Harper for the DISASTROUS Alonso goal last season. He looked like a complete idiot and this will stay with him for the rest of his life! such a shame.

  • Sinead

    Nov 14, 2007 at 9:46 PM

    Comment #3

    Thank God, no more embarasments wanted on this side. SO *touch wood* he’ll be fit.

    On the Harper Alonso thing, it’s a bit harsh, he slipped like. He might have looked completley idiotic like but it was an accident. I’m sure Shay would have wanted to be there and have that happen to him rather then be in a hospital watching it. I don’t think Harper should be judged on that. But I do think that he was poor against Sunderland and not great against Portsmouth. So I don’t think that should justify dropping Given. It’ll be interesting to see what Sam does. Obviously I want him to choose Given.

  • Brisbane Mag

    Nov 14, 2007 at 10:04 PM

    Comment #4

    Having Given back playing in goal is good for Ireland and Newcastle. Let’s hope he doesn’t break down again……

    Looking forward to seeing Duff’s return from injury; hopefully with the same swagger and sparkle from his Blackburn/Chelsea days!

  • Hammy

    Nov 14, 2007 at 10:21 PM

    Comment #5

    I heard Pat Jennings was planning a come back….I’m off to google it….

  • Sinead

    Nov 14, 2007 at 10:55 PM

    Comment #6

    They’re saying that Duff could be back within a fortnight.

  • ToonKing

    Nov 14, 2007 at 11:21 PM

    Comment #7

    Sinead that would be a massive boost. Where did you hear that ??

  • Sinead

    Nov 14, 2007 at 11:34 PM

    Comment #8

    Read it on an Irish paper..don’t remember which one, I wouldn’t rely on it fully though.

  • Sinead

    Nov 14, 2007 at 11:37 PM

    Comment #9 looks like he’ll make the Wales match but..
    “so concerned are Newcastle that the 31-year-old could suffer a setback, they are expected to send their own physiotherapist to accompany Given in Wales.”
    Brilliant stuff.

  • Sinead

    Nov 14, 2007 at 11:44 PM

    Comment #10

    His marked down date for being back is the 8 Dec, it’s the 14th of Nov now, that’s what two weeks from now is the 28th of Nov, that’s not to much of a difference so it could be true.

  • Tripp

    Nov 15, 2007 at 5:14 AM

    Comment #11

    Hey guys, I’ve got a question about international call-ups. I’ll use wor Shay as an example. Let’s say BSA didn’t want SG playing in this meaningless match against Wales. Could he bar Shay from playing (not that he’d want to, since people generally like representing their countries)? I’m assuming that the answer is yes since NUFC pays the wages. I’ve never heard of someone denying a player the chance (forgive me, I haven’t been following football for very long). Thanks.

  • indian toon

    Nov 15, 2007 at 6:47 AM

    Comment #12

    cmon duffer .. where art thou..!!?

  • true

    Nov 15, 2007 at 9:05 AM

    Comment #13

    when Duff did play he was a duff! why all the excitment?
    whats make you think he will walk straight in! we have TWO excellent wingers who are both IN form.

  • Bill f

    Nov 15, 2007 at 5:08 PM

    Comment #14

    A revitalised on song Duff would be great for the team, just hope it’s what we get.

    Given might as well play the full game for Eire, if he gets through it unscathed it will give him the confidence boost he sorely needs.

  • Marty

    Nov 15, 2007 at 5:35 PM

    Comment #15

    Hey TRUE,who is the 2 excellent wingers??Zoggers yes but that other GIT?Bring back Duff Bring back Duff

  • Eve

    Nov 16, 2007 at 12:35 AM

    Comment #16

    Bill f..ya I agree he needs the confidence boost, the Irish match should do him the world of good. He’s still trying to shake that injury, mentally as much as physically but it doesn’t help that Sam is messing with their heads. One minute Harper’s his no.1, then it’s Given and then Given gets injured again and he turns around and says that Harper is his number 1 untill he makes a mistake, and then he has 2 poor enough games in a row and now surely that’s not near enough to keep Given out (but I’d say that because it’s Sam he probally will carry on with Harper in goals), and then he turns around and says Foster is challenging for the no.1 spot. It’s a joke. Keepers don’t preform well when you’re saying things like that, they become paranoid and afraid of making mstakes. That’s all good and well like but it also causes them not to take chances, not to come for croses, to second guess themselves..etc. It’s just not good for them or their team. To have them looking over their shoulder every second cause of what Sam’s saying to the media.


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