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Given makes his presence felt

Shay Given 0809

Shay Given 0809

Shay Given's UEFA Cup heroics have drawn warm praise from manager Mark Hughes.

The Irish stopper's two penalty saves helped propel City into the quarter finals, where they will face Martin Jol's Hamburg SV.

A little bit of mind games and an intimidating presence from the 32-year-old seemed to help put off two Aalborg penalty takers, and it's this nous and experience that the boss wanted Shay to bring to the side when bringing him to the Club in January.

Mark says, "When you have Shay Given between the sticks, you always feel that he is going to save a penalty for you, and that helps the rest of the lads with their confidence.

"Seeing Shay stood there gets into opposition player's minds, and I think that is what he did. When you have a top-class keeper like him, if they guess right then invariably they will save penalties."

In Mark's opinion, Shay's presence and authority have not only influenced the back four but have also begun to rub off on fellow keepers Joe Hart and Kasper Schmeichel.

"He's been really good for us; he has given us a calm assurance and has helped the back four. In the circumstances where you need him to make key saves at the right time, he has invariably been able to produce that so we are delighted with his impact.

"He has had a knock-on effect on the younger keepers as well, which was a big part of why we wanted to bring him here."

First Team News

Hughes hails shoot-out hero Shay

Shay Given training 0809

Mark Hughes saluted penalty shoot-out hero Shay Given after the Republic of Ireland goalkeeper stopped two spot kicks to see City through to their first European quarter-final in 30 years.

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Luck of the Irish smiles on Shay

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