Given to skipper Republic
Goalkeeper takes armband for Montenegro clash
Last Updated: October 13, 2009 3:32pm
Shay Given has been made Republic of Ireland captain for the World Cup qualifier against Montenegro.
The Manchester City goalkeeper will make his 100th international appearance on Wednesday and manager Giovanni Trapattoni has decided to hand him the armband ahead of regular skipper Robbie Keane.
Given is proud of the achievement and is especially pleased that wing-back Kevin Kilbane will reach the milestone at the same time.
"Making 100 caps, myself and Kevin Kilbane on the same night, we will both be very proud wearing the Irish jersey once more," he said.
"To wear it 100 times is very, very special."
The Republic will go into the World Cup play-offs as Group 8 runners-up regardless of the result of their final qualifier at Croke Park.
They may have to face a strong side such as Portugal, France or Russia but Given is still confident of booking a spot at next summer's tournament.
"We came into this (group) in third place in the seedings and it was going to be a tough ask to get into the play-off position," he stated.
"We would love to have topped the group, don't get me wrong, but we haven't done that.
"We have got into second place and I would honestly say most players and fans alike would have probably taken that with the world champions being in the group as well.
"That comes from the manager. We finished the last campaign in fourth place, so to finish in second, we are improving and he has got to take the credit.
"I don't think anyone will relish playing us. We have got a settled team and we are unbeaten in the group so far.
"We have shown we can go to Italy and go to Bulgaria and get results. Whoever is drawn against Ireland, we will cause them some problems.
"We know it's going to be tough with the seeding situation, but we have got some very good players as well and a good squad and a good mentality now going into next month."