Given backs Bridge's claims

City keeper feels full-back has impressed since return from injury

Bridge: Support from Given

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Shay Given believes Manchester City team-mate Wayne Bridge has enhanced his England World Cup claims in recent matches.

Bridge has featured in City's last three matches since returning from a two-month lay-off with a knee injury and produced a solid display in the FA Cup draw with Stoke City at the weekend.

He is aiming to prove his fitness over the coming months as he looks to secure his spot in Fabio Capello's squad for the summer's World Cup in South Africa.

Allegations regarding the private lives of Bridge and former Chelsea team-mate John Terry had cast doubt over whether the full-back would be available for England selection.

However, Bridge is expected to replace the injured Ashley Cole in the team for next month's friendly with Egypt and Given has offered his support to his club colleague.

"I thought Wayne was one of our best players against Stoke," said Given.

"I hear the England manager was watching, so I don't think he will have done his World Cup chances any harm at all.

"He got forward often and defended well too."

Business end

Meanwhile, City meet Stoke in the Premier League on Tuesday night and Given is hoping his side can boost their UEFA Champions League prospects, with a point enough to leapfrog Liverpool into fourth place.

He added: "It's the business end of the season and we've got a run of really difficult matches, but we're fifth in the table and still in the cup.

"We can't be too despondent even if we've got Liverpool sandwiched between two tough games against Stoke.

"We just need to go there, play our own game and hopefully come away with a win. Then we can think about the weekend and not before."