Given pleased by defence

City shot-stopper impressed by Mancini impact

Given: Strong defence

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Manchester City goalkeeper Shay Given has praised Roberto Mancini's impact on the team's defending.

Mancini replaced Mark Hughes as manager at Eastlands in December and he has a 100 per cent record in his three games so far.

The Blues dumped Middlesbrough out of the FA Cup at the weekend 1-0, which made it three clean sheets in three games after successive league victories against Stoke and Wolves.

Given hailed the Italian tactician's record as a coach, and admitted he has been impressed with him so far.

"The new manager has worked hard on defending," he said in The Sun.

"But not just the back four and myself - also the guys who play well in front of us as well.

"He's also looked at what we do as a team, as a unit, when we lose the ball.

"He has different ideas about shadow play and where he wants players to be when you don't have the ball.

Impressed

"He is very adamant about the way he wants his team to be set up. I've been impressed with him.

"I like the way he knows what he wants from his teams.

"You cannot argue with the guy's record. He did great with Inter and he was a great player so you have to respect him for that."

Given, 33, was signed by former City manager Hughes 12 months ago after a 12-year spell at Newcastle, and he was reportedly deeply unhappy at the manner of the Welshman's dismissal.

However, the Republic of Ireland international refused to be drawn on his opinions regarding his former boss, and insists he is not preoccupied by his departure.

"Mark Hughes left and I'll always be grateful for bringing me to this club," he added.

"But the owners made their decision and we have to get on with it."