Shay Given says Republic of Ireland return comes with no guarantees
Last Updated: 01/09/14 5:41pm
Shay Given has insisted his return to the Republic of Ireland fold came with no guarantees that he would add to his 125 senior international caps.
The 38-year-old Aston Villa goalkeeper was a surprise inclusion in Martin O'Neill's 27-man squad for Wednesday night's friendly against Oman in Dublin and Ireland's opening Euro 2016 qualifier against Georgia in Tbilisi on Sunday.
Given had previously hinted that he was ready to reconsider his decision to retire from international football following the Euro 2012 finals, but dismissed suggestions he had only returned after being assured he would be in the team.
He said: "There are no guarantees, there are no demands from me. I read somewhere that I demanded to play - that's all rubbish.
"I am here to try help the group and try to get us qualified. We have some very tough games coming up. Hopefully I can do that."
Given, whose last appearance for his country came in a 2-0 defeat by Italy in Poznan in June 2012, remains confident he has got what it takes to represent his country once again and believes he has unfinished business to attend to before he hangs up his boots for good.
"I wouldn't be here if I didn't think I was sharp enough to play,” he added.
"I probably missed it as much as anything, the honour of playing for Ireland and the buzz you get and the privilege of playing for your country.
"You miss that, and you are a long time retired, so you have a long time to look back. It's about giving it another go and playing a few more games and trying to help the country as best I can.
"I don't want to have any regrets when I do hang up my boots. That was sort of eating away at me as well."
Given's club career has stalled somewhat in recent years after almost 12 years at Newcastle during which he was first-choice for all but a few months.
He had a spell on loan at Middlesbrough in the Sky Bet Championship last season and admits he craves regular football, insisting he has no immediate plans to call it a day.
He said: "I'd like to play as long as I can. You are a long time retired and people like Brad Friedel and Mark Schwarzer, people like that, you get inspiration from guys like that.
"I am only 38 - I've just turned 38 as well - and I do feel there are plenty of miles left on the clock. I have not played that much football over the last couple of years, so maybe that will stand me in good stead over the next few years as well."