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Given optimistic about Blues' FA Cup dream

Shay Given

Shay Given

City may have conceded home advantage to Stoke in the FA Cup, but Shay Given believes the Blues still have a great chance of progressing to the quarter-finals.

With another two games against the Potters to come in quick succession, Given says the team will have to be at their best if they are to leave the Britannia Stadium with two victories.

“We’re disappointed because we had home advantage and thought we could go on and win the game but we’re still in the draw for the next round,” he said.

“Now we have got to go to Stoke now and battle to get through to the quarter-finals.”

City conceded a classic Stoke sucker-punch goal via Rory Delap’s monster throw-in, but up until then, Given felt the Blues had coped comfortably at the back with the visitors’ set-pieces.

“I didn’t think we defended too badly today,” he said. “It’s worth remembering that a number of good defences have conceded goals to Rory Delap’s long throw-in.

 

The frustrating thing was we had about 10 players back and they had four in our box but still managed to score with pretty much a free header

...Shay Given

 

“We’re continuing to work on defending set-pieces and it does take time because there’s no magic wand you can wave over the defence as a unit. We watch videos and know what to expect, but it’s hard to defend against.”

Given also had praise for team-mate Wayne Bridge who has looked in fine form since his return to the first-team.

“I thought Wayne was one of our best players today and I hear the England manager was here today so I don’t think he will have done his World Cup chances any harm at all,” he said. “He got forward often and defended well, too.

“Of course, you can’t help but miss players of Carlos Tevez and Craig Bellamy’s quality but we still had a great team out there today but we just couldn’t find the second goal we needed to kill the game off.”

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