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Quinn: I'd pick Forde over Given in goal for Georgia trip

The ex-Ireland striker believes Martin O’Neill should stick with the current first choice keeper despite his predecessor’s return.

Goalkeeping coach Seamus McDonagh with (left) Given and Forde (right).
Goalkeeping coach Seamus McDonagh with (left) Given and Forde (right).
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

FORMER IRELAND INTERNATIONAL Niall Quinn has backed David Forde to keep hold of the number one jersey for the start of the Euro 2016 campaign.

Aston Villa stopper Given returned to the international fold against Oman on Wednesday night two years after retiring with 125 caps in the aftermath of Ireland’s disappointing European Championships in Poland.

Galway native Forde has performed admirably since becoming first choice and Quinn, who represented the Boys in Green between 1986 and 2002, believes there is no reason why Martin O’Neill should demote the 34-year-old Millwall keeper for tomorrow’s qualifier away to Georgia.

“I think it will be hard on David Forde if he goes straight into the team,” said Quinn, speaking at a Sky Sports media event in Dublin this week.

“Martin will make that decision. It’s great to have him back, but let him earn his place now as opposed to coming back in because of what he did some time ago.

I’m mad about Shay. He’s great, but it would be a tough one on David Forde if he doesn’t play. I look forward to that selection.

“I’d pick David,” he added. “I’m not telling Martin what to do, no one could ever do that. I just feel he’s built himself up fantastically well in an Irish shirt. He’s come from nowhere and he’s been dependable. Shay hasn’t been there.

“If it was me, I’d give him the nod and see how they battle each other then over the coming games.”

‘Niall Quinn will be commentating on the Euro 2016 Ireland qualifier against Georgia live on Sky Sports 5 from 4pm on Sunday.’

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Ben Blake

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