Tim Sherwood talks up Shay Given's chances of reclaiming Aston Villa's number one job

Shay Given

The veteran goalkeeper is pushing Brad Guzan for the first-choice role, according to his manager.

Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood has confirmed that Shay Given will start Sunday afternoon’s FA Cup semi-final against Liverpool and also told the club's official website that the Irishman is pushing Brad Guzan for the number one job.

Sherwood was speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of the weekend’s trip to Wembley Stadium, when his side will bid to make the competition’s final for the first time since 2000.

Given has been a huge part of their successful run to the final four, having put in a string of impressive performances through each round after being afforded the chance to start the club’s cup games over first-choice Guzan.

The veteran shot-stopper, who will turn 39 the day after the semi-final, has been forced to back up his American teammate over the past three seasons, aside from spending a three-month loan spell at Middlesbrough last term, but his recent outings have led to suggestions that he could have a chance of reclaiming his old position.

Sherwood himself has confirmed as much, telling reporters: “Shay plays. Absolutely. He’s done nothing wrong and he’s a large part of the reason we’re in this semi-final.

“The saves he made against Leicester were fantastic and at the right time. He trains fantastically well and he’s pushing Brad all the way for that number one spot.”

Given, who was teammates with Sherwood at Blackburn Rovers between 1994 and 1997, has another season left to run on his Villa contract, having made 48 total appearances for the club since joining from Manchester City in the summer of 2011.

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