Lambert explains Given axe
Paul Lambert felt dropping Shay Given and bringing in Brad Guzan was the 'right decision' to make as Aston Villa drew 1-1 at Newcastle.
Last Updated: 02/09/12 7:39pm
Paul Lambert felt dropping goalkeeper Shay Given and bringing in Brad Guzan was the 'right decision' to make as Aston Villa earned a 1-1 draw at Newcastle United.
Given was denied a reunion against his former club after being demoted to the bench following a shaky performance in last week's 3-1 home defeat by Everton.
Guzan, who kept a clean sheet in the midweek Capital One Cup win over Tranmere Rovers, justified Lambert's faith by producing a couple of smart saves to thwart Newcastle.
Villa boss Lambert did not want to be drawn on the significance of his decision to leave out Given, but confirmed he had spoken with the veteran keeper.
"I just try and pick a team that I think can win a game, that's all I can do," Lambert told Sky Sports.
"Shay is a brilliant goalkeeper, there are no two ways about it, and we had a chat the other day.
"I just thought it was the right decision for the football club."
Ciaran Clark's first-half header put Villa in front before Hatem Ben Arfa's stunning effort just before the hour mark earned Newcastle a draw.
The point was Lambert's first as Villa manager and he praised the attitude of his team, saying: "I thought we were excellent throughout the game.
"It's a really tough place to get anything and some of the football was excellent. We were worthy of something that's for sure.
"I thought the youngsters were excellent, their enthusiasm for the game was excellent and there are some really talented footballers."