Shay Given celebrated his 450th appearance for Newcastle United last night, with a fantastic victory over Aston Villa in a game Shay admits was massive for our club.
Shay Given – magnificent save in his 450th appearance for the club
Newcastle saw all the results go against them over the weekend, but it’s always what you do for your own survival that is the most important thing. You cannot affect the other games. We started the game bottom of the league but finished the game in 14th position, a move of six places – going up.
Oba Martin’s magnificent first goal put us on track and then a little piece of magic from Argentine Jonas Gutierrez set up Oba’s second goal, and the clean sheet was our first since we beat Bolton 1-0 back on August 26th.
Shay talked to nufcTV this morning:
“The most important thing was the win and that was massive for us,” “We played very well as a team and deserved the three points.”
“They’re a good team and are doing well so to get the win was huge because we’d found ourselves at the bottom going into the game which wasn’t nice.”
“Credit to Oba it was a great first goal and he’s added the second which gave us that cushion we needed.”
Given was asked about his clean sheet and he continued:
“It’s been a while, I must admit, but it’s great to keep a clean sheet,” “It’s something to build on because we’d like to keep a lot more clean sheets.”
Given had made a terrific point-blank save from Ashley Young with the game still goalless in the first half, and it’s hard to under-estimate the importance of Given’s brilliant save to keep the scores level.
“It was nice to keep it out because had they gone one up then it could have been different,”
“But if we do our job at the back then we know we’ve got the players to grab a goal at the other end.”
The 32-year-old Irishman has now moved within just 46 appearances of Jimmy Lawrence’s club record of 496 appearances, and with his excellent form this season, fingers crossed, he will overcome that target fairly easily next season, all being well.
“It wasn’t about me playing my 450th game, it was about the club because it was a huge game to get us out of the bottom three,”
“Now we have to look to the next game at Fulham and try to make it three wins on the spin.”
Goalkeeper had never been a weakness for our team since Shay made his debut in August, 1997, when we beat Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 at St. James’ Park.
And Shay, at just 32 years old, seems to be as good as ever.