Shay Given has been talking about Newcastle United ahead of Wednesday night’s match.
The keeper who is Newcastle’s greatest goalkeeper in living memory (in my opinion anyway) will be an interested spectator like the rest of us, seeing whether United can pick up the three (or even potentially one) points that would lift his old club out of the relegation zone.
Shay Given picked up a really bad injury and the 39 year old has missed the last five months, only returning to basic training on Monday (yesterday).
The Irish international and Stoke reserve keeper believes that whatever happens tomorrow, Newcastle will still stay up.
What is more, Shay Given thinks that, at least on paper, Newcastle have got a ‘really good side’ and will ‘push on again next season’ if surviving…
After ten years of outstanding service at St James Park, Given eventually had had enough as the club collapsed around him.
Shellshocked after a 5-1 home defeat to Liverpool that could have been nearer 20 without Given, the keeper decided he’d had enough – with bosses including Mike Ashley, Dennis Wise and JFK, who could blame him?
Leaving in January 2009, Shay Given missed the last rites on that relegation season, another team/squad that was deemed too good to go down at the time…
Shay Given speaking to the official Stoke City magazine:
“It isn’t a nice situation for them to be in, but I do really think that they will get out of it.
“They made some really strong signings during the January window and I think on paper, they look a really good side.
“I am sure that it will all click and they will pull themselves clear – hopefully, not until after Wednesday night’s game mind.
“There will be some anxiousness and nervousness around the place at the moment, but that is to be expected when there are only 11 or 12 games to go and you are involved in a relegation battle.
“Steve McClaren will be keeping them calm though and I am sure he has the belief that the squad he has put together can really push on once they move away from danger.”
“I would expect them to push on again next season given the talent they have in the dressing room.
“Things are going well for me now, even though the injury has kept me out of action for longer than I had expected.
“I was able to get out of the gym and on to the training pitch with Andy and the other guys on Monday, so that was a big step forward for me.
“It’s been a long time in waiting, because I maybe want to go out there all guns blazing, but the medics have to keep me on a leash and make sure that I aren’t doing too much.
“Things are ticking along nicely though, which is a positive for me.”