Warnock hails Given impact

Defender sees similarities between keeper and Friedel

Shay Given: Keeper has been praised by Stephen Warnock for his impact at Aston Villa

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Stephen Warnock believes Aston Villa are reaping the rewards of goalkeeper Shay Given's decision to quit Manchester City last summer.

Given was the back-up to Joe Hart at the Etihad Stadium last season, but opted to leave in search of regular first-team football and joined Villa to replace Brad Friedel.

The Republic of Ireland international has been one of Villa's best players this season and Warnock has praised the 35-year-old's impact at the club.

Left-back Warnock said: "It's the pride of a footballer to come back and show people how good he is and prove people wrong.

"If your face fits, then great. Shay's face didn't fit at Manchester City at the time.

"But he's come here and his face fits and we are reaping the rewards of a great buy."

Warnock can see similarities between Given and Friedel, who moved to Tottenham last summer on a free transfer.

"A lot of clubs probably looked at him but thought about his age, but I think you'll see that he's similar to Brad Friedel," added Warnock.

"He's going to play into his 40s in my opinion. Shay has looked after himself and he's reaping the rewards of that."