Given an injury concern after promising debut

Alan Foley

Reporter:

Alan Foley

Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish has revealed goalkeeper Shay Given had a tight groin during Saturday match against Fulham, writes Alan Foley.

Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish has revealed goalkeeper Shay Given had a tight groin during Saturday match against Fulham, writes Alan Foley.

Given impressed in his competitive debut for Villa, making a string of impressive saves to earn his new club a 0-0 draw. It was the Lifford native’s first appearance in the Premier League since April last year, when he suffered a dislocated shoulder against Arsenal for his former club Manchester City. The 35-year-old returned to fitness but did not reclaim his place in the City team ahead of Joe Hart before moving to the midlands.

“It’s nice to be back and nice to feel wanted again and feel part of the team and be playing in front of big crowds again,” Given said afterwards.

Villa defender James Collins had to take the goal-kicks at Craven Cottage on Saturday after Given indicated he had a problem. McLeish will have to wait until the medics assess the problem before he knows the full extent of the injury.

“Shay had a bit of a tight groin,” McLeish said. “That’s why James Collins took the goal-kicks. But we’re hoping he’s okay. I need to speak to the doc. Twenty four hours is normally the time to tell.”

Given was named on the ESPN team of the week. “His performance was a triumph of positioning, the sort that develops with a wealth of Premier League experience,” they said. “His best moment came with a point-blank save from Bobby Zamora but he also repelled a fearsome effort from Andy Johnson to ensure Alex McLeish began life as Villa boss with a clean sheet and a decent point.”

Ciaran Clark, whose father Michael is from Ballyare, was a last minute substitute for Villa. James McCarthy, who qualifies for the Republic of Ireland as his late grandfather Packie Coll was from Gweedore, played 90 minutes for Wigan Athletic in their 1-1 draw against Norwich City.

Elsewhere, Gary Doherty from Carndonagh was an 87th minute substitute for Charlton Athletic in their 2-1 win at Notts County in League One. Conrad Logan from Ramelton kept goal for Rotherham in their 4-1 win over win at Plymouth Argyle in League Two. The win put Logan’s side on top of the table after two games.