Given is hugged by Boro defender Daniel Ayala on Saturday. Richard Sellers/EMPICS Sport

Given unsure of international return after impressing in front of Keane

The former Ireland number one was watched by the assistant manager in Middlesbrough’s win over Charlton on Saturday.

IRELAND ASSISTANT MANAGER Roy Keane was at the Riverside to watch Shay Given on Saturday as part of his weekly scouting duties.

Given, currently on loan at Boro from Aston Villa, started between the sticks for the home side and pulled off an excellent save from Dale Stephens late on to earn his fifth clean sheet from this last six games in the 1-0 win.

And the 37-year-old hasn’t ruled out making a return to the international set-up with manager Martin O’Neill also open to the idea.

“He may have been halfway down the A1 by the time I pulled that one off!” joked Given when asked whether Keane saw his late heriocs.

“If he was here to watch me then great, if he was watching somebody else then so be it.

“I’ve not spoken to Roy or to Martin O’Neill, I’m just delighted to be back playing for Middlesbrough. The next competitive game for Ireland isn’t until next September and that’s a long, long time away.”

Having already made ten appearances since arriving at the Championship club, Given is enjoying his return to action after a long spell on the bench at Villa. Boro,  now under Spaniard Aitor Karanka, are up to ninth after their latest victory and sit just five points out of the promotion places.

I’m a footballer, I just want to play and I’m enjoying my time here,” added Given. “The fans have been great. With my previous Newcastle and Sunderland connections they could have gone either way.

“But they give you support if you perform on the pitch and that’s all I’ve ever done. I’ve tried my best at any club I have been at and I think the fans can see that every time I play.”

Here’s his 96th-minute save against Charlton:


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