Given welcomes game time

City keeper delighted to get international run-out with Ireland

Given: Back in action

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Shay Given was disappointed to suffer defeat with the Republic of Ireland, but pleased to be back in action.

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The Manchester City goalkeeper saw an historic night for him end on a downer on Wednesday as the Irish slipped to a 2-1 defeat against Norway.

The game saw Given earn a record-breaking 109th cap for his country, edging him in front of some legendary names from the past and present.

An international run-out also gave the 34-year-old some much-needed game time, with first-team opportunities proving hard to come by at Eastlands.

Given has revealed that he hopes to secure a switch away from City in January, but for now he is just happy to have got some competitive minutes under his belt.

He said: "To be honest, as I said before the game, it was just nice to be playing again. It was nice building up to the game, the mental side of things.

Emotions

"Just to be out there and preparing for a game going through the emotions of that, and having the atmosphere with the crowd there, it was great.

"I was delighted to be out there playing. It's been an up and down kind of season for me, not playing too many games, and it was just nice to be playing some football."

While Given was frustrated to see the Irish pegged back by Norway after going a goal in front, he admits the game was not a complete write-off as youngsters such as Greg Cunningham and Keith Fahey were able to pick up vital international experience.

He added: "The most important thing is the result, but there were a lot of positives to take from the game. We had a lot of really good performances.

"It was one of those games when you come off and you wonder how you lost the game because we had a lot of possession and probably the best chances and we came away with a defeat, so that's disappointing."