Villa hopeful on Given

McLeish crossing his fingers on keeper's injury

Given: McLeish hopeful groin injury suffered by keeper is nothing serious

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Aston Villa are hopeful the groin strain suffered by Shay Given against Fulham over the weekend is not serious.

The former Manchester City shot-stopper was struggling towards the end of the goalless draw on his debut at Craven Cottage.

James Collins took over goal-kicking duty as a precautionary measure and manager Alex McLeish is crossing his fingers on the injury.

Given will be assessed in the next 24 hours and McLeish is remaining hopeful the veteran keeper will not miss any playing time.

"Shay had a bit of a tight groin, that's why James took the goal-kicks. But we're hoping he's okay," he told the Express & Star.

"I need to wait and speak to the doctor but within 24 hours is normally the time to tell."


Given played second fiddle to Joe Hart at City last season and the Republic of Ireland international has expressed his frustration at being forced to watch on from the sidelines.

"Last year was frustrating - it's probably well-documented and the word's overused at this stage," explained the keeper.

"But it's nice to be back and nice to feel wanted again and feel part of the team and be playing in front of big crowds again.

"In the run-up to the game, there was the excitement of the Premier League starting again and, for me personally, knowing I was going to be playing was pretty special.

"So it's great to be back and it's nice to start with a clean sheet with my new team."