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Season 2008/09

Shay sets the record straight

  • 26 February 2009 07:30
  • Posted byTim Oscroft

City's draw at Anfield has helped Shay Given get over the trauma of his previous game against Liverpool at just the right time.

The Irish keeper did all he could when former club Newcastle United were put to the sword 5-1 at St James Park in late December. Indeed, had had it not been for Shay the scoreline could have been even worse, but in his next time out against Liverpool a couple of crucial saves late in the day for his new club helped City to a creditable point.

Reflecting on his recent games against Rafa Benitez's side, Shay told us, "Losing 5-1 at home was a real low point, they were unbelievable although I don't know if it was a case of Liverpool being so brilliant or Newcastle being so poor. That was a bad moment in my career, but it was nice to play Liverpool at the weekend and put the record straight.

"The draw was a very good result, and on another day maybe we could have got all three points. It was good to put that one to bed."

His move to City meant that Shay could have another crack at European football almost straight away, and looking forward to tonight's second leg against FC Copenhagen he says,

"It's evenly balanced. Their late goal in Copenhagen deflated us a little bit when we came off the pitch, had we held on for 2-1 that would have been a better result. At 2-2 the tie is still in the balance, but having two away goals is extremely important.

"They are a decent team as well, they can cause us problems and we have to make sure our concentration levels are high as well tonight to keep the back door closed. I feel we can always cause them problems down at the other end.

"It's a great opportunity, and our only opportunity, to win a trophy this year. Why not do it this year? There are still some massive sides knocking about in the UEFA Cup this year and it won't be

Shay's European experience with Newcastle included a memorable win over Barcelona at St James' Park, and a run to the UEFA Cup semi-final in 2003/04, so City's run this season gives him another shot at glory.

"I have been to the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup with Newcastle, and played in the Champions League. I have been there before, but I would love to get to a final and actually win it. There are some fantastic players at the club, I am sure they are all feeling the same and are extremely hungry about winning this competition."

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