Monday, February 2, 2009

Given Looking forward to City challenge

Manchester City new boy Shay Given has admitted he did not sleep on Sunday night because of his excitement at the prospect of his first day at training.

Donegal born Given completed a £6m move from Newcastle United on Sunday and is expected to make his debut against Middlesbrough at Eastlands on Saturday.

The Ireland star has spent the last 11 years at St James' Park, so there was bound to be a bit of apprehension as he stepped into the unknown.

''I was so excited last night that I couldn't sleep,'' he told the club's website.

''It will be like being a kid at a new school at training. I want to meet the lads, get to know my new surrounds and get down to work. I feel the best years are still ahead of me. I work hard in training to keep improving. That will never change.''

A veteran of World Cup and Champions League campaigns, Given is clear to feature in City's assault on the UEFA Cup - which begins against Copenhagen next month.

''I was delighted to get the move tied up, because of the UEFA deadline last night,'' he added. ''I didn't want to be sat in the stand if City are going to be picking up the UEFA Cup later this season.''

Given's arrival has been viewed as bad news for England international Joe Hart, who has been City's number one for the past 18 months.

However, the 32-year-old believes he can offer Hart and City's other young goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel some valuable advice in the future.

''I have a lot of experience that I can pass on,'' he said. ''They might not be all that happy to see me, but I would like to think that we can all work together and all improve together.

''I rate Joe highly. He has done fantastically well this season but he is still very young in goalkeeping terms.'' Although a mass of players have been linked with City, Given is likely to be Mark Hughes' last signing of the transfer window.

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