Shay Given has spoken of his disappointment at failing to get his loan spell at Middlesbrough extended until the end of the season.
The 37-year-old’s parent club Aston Villa decided not to loan their third choice goalkeeper to the Championship club until the end of the season. Emergency loans can last from a period of 28 days to 93 and Given was initially granted a one-month emergency in November as Middlesbrough’s Jason Steele was given a three-match suspension having been sent off against Leeds United. Steele has since been sidelined with an ankle injury
Middlesbrough wanted to convert Given’s emergency loan into a half season loan in order to retain the experienced goalkeeper for the rest of the campaign but Villa will not allow him to stay all season is because such a deal would prevent them having a 24-hour recall clause.
“It’s gone really well while I have been here and I’ve really enjoyed playing again,” said Given of his time on Teeside. “There will probably be a feeling of unfinished business because we have been in a good moment.”
Lifford native Given has kept seven clean sheets in his last nine matches and Middlesbrough are currently in 12th place in the table, nine points off the play-off places.
“I do feel we have an outside chance of still getting in the play-offs if we can get some goals and clean sheets,” Given continued. “It will be a shame I can’t be more involved in that.
“I have enjoyed the buzz again of making saves and being in and around the team. It’s been nice to be playing again and I want to keep playing. It will be frustrating going back but that’s the situation I am in. People said would you take a step down when I came here and I didn’t have a problem with that.”
Given, though, understands the predicament Villa are in with him required as cover for Brad Guzan and Jed Steer between now and the end of the season. Come summer, the 125-times capped Republic of Ireland netminder will be willing to find another club and that might not necessarily be Middlesbrough.
“Aston Villa are my parent club and I have to do what is right for them too and what is right for Paul Lambert,” Given said. “It’s just about getting a club who wants me. It’s out of my hands whether I would come back to Middlesbrough.
“Jason Steele has been out with his ankle injury and, in a sense, when my thing runs out he should be fully fit then. He is a top keeper as well and he has been first choice keeper for years.
“I don’t know if they will want a new keeper in the summer because they are not really short of them. I just hope there will be a few options for me. Hopefully this spell at Middlesbrough will have shown I still have a lot to offer.”