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Penalty hero Given talks up start

Given directs from the goal

Given directs from the goal

Man of the match and hero of the hour Shay Given played down his own role in the draw at Birmingham and then talked up the Blues start to the season.

Given, who has been in impeccable form all season, saved a second half spot kick from James McFadden that ensured a point for a slightly off key City side.

He bookended the spot kick spectacular with at least three other tip-top stops that earned him plaudits from both sides.  

“It is always nice to save a penalty. It is about the closest a goalkeeper gets to scoring a goal, I suppose,” smiled the unassuming saviour.

 

There is always a bit of luck involved when you stop one but the important thing is that we kept a clean sheet and took a point from a game in which we did not play at our best.

...Shay Given on the penalty

 

“Sometimes you can study penalty takers and it can throw you off. It is best to rely on instinct, try and make a decision from the run up, and stick to it. Luckily for me it worked today but it is a lottery.

“Nigel de Jong was certainly relieved a man. I don’t know what was happening with his handball but I don’t think the referee had any choice but to award a penalty.”

Given admitted that the Blues were not pleased with their efforts but insisted that four stalemates in succession is not an indicator of anything other than how competitive the Premier League has become.

“We came to win and we are disappointed that we didn’t but you have to give Birmingham some credit,” he said.

“They won last week and were determined to make it hard for us. It was tough game.

“Having said that we have to do better and we were not pleased by our performance. We have drawn four on the trot now but three of those were away from home and if you can win home games and pick up draws away then you generally have a decent season.

“Over the course of the game and considering the chances created it may not be a bad point. I will tell you in May whether the points we have been getting away from home are some gained or some dropped.

 

We have lost only once in ten games in the league, are up to fourth and are in the last eight of the Carling Cup so it has been a decent first three months of the season.

...Given on start to season

 

 

“We don’t have a bad defensive record either. There are only two teams I think who have conceded fewer goals and we have four clean sheets from ten matches in the Premier League.

“The more of those we have the better the chance we have recording victories because we have some great players in midfield and attack who can score goals. It just didn’t click, for whatever reason, at Birmingham where we didn’t create too many chances.

“We have not too badly at the back, maybe not as badly as some people are hinting, but we know that there is room for improvement. We are working hard on the training ground to make sure that happens.”

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