Given aware of Guzan threat

Villa keeper taking nothing for granted in battle for starting berth

Shay Given: Hoping to keep Brad Guzan on the sidelines at Villa Park

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Shay Given acknowledges that there is no guarantee that he will be Aston Villa's number one this season, with Brad Guzan providing considerable competition.

Given has been first-choice at Villa Park since completing a switch from Manchester City in 2011.

In an effort to ensure that he remains at the front of the keeping queue, the 36-year-old Irishman has announced his retirement from international football.

He believes being in a position to focus his full attention on club matters will help to keep him ahead of highly-rated American Guzan in the Villa pecking order.

"Brad is pushing hard for a place in the team," said Given.


"It's up to me hopefully to keep him out but he's a fantastic goalkeeper and the fans love him here as well and that comes from his performances.

"He's a top goalkeeper and it's important we've got that competition in all positions across the park and we definitely have that in the goalkeeping department.

"Of course you need a challenge and there's a new manager as well, so you've got to impress him and show him that you deserve to be in the team.

"The manager is a very passionate guy and he wants everybody to be on top of their game both in training and in games. There's a real buzz in training and real excitement around the place."