Brad Guzan 'hurting' after Wembley snub, admits Aston Villa goalkeeping coach Tony Parks

Shay Given

Backup Shay Given has started throughout the club's successful FA Cup run and is set to keep his place for the final on May 30.

Aston Villa number one Brad Guzan is “hurting” after missing out on the club’s FA Cup run to Wembley, goalkeeping coach Tony Parks has told the Birmingham Mail.

Guzan, 30, has been Villa’s first-choice shot-stopper since taking over from current backup Shay Given at the start of the 2012-13 season but his 39-year-old teammate has been afforded the chance to start cup games this term.

His recent performances have earned praise from manager Tim Sherwood and the Irishman will now keep his place in between the posts for next month’s FA Cup final against Arsenal as a reward for his form.

Guzan himself was in a similar situation to Given during the 2009-10 season as Brad Friedel’s number two, when he started throughout Villa’s run to the League Cup final against Manchester United.

On that occasion, though, then-manager Martin O’Neill opted to reinstate his regular starter for the 2-1 defeat, and Parks admits that the US international is disappointed to be left out for a second time.

Nevertheless, the Villa coach also stresses that Guzan has been a consummate professional about the situation, telling the newspaper: “Brad hurts, Brad wants to play at Wembley in the semi-final but like he said to me after we beat Liverpool, ‘it’s all about the bigger picture.

“He understands that Shay has earned the right to play in these games and that Shay has earned the right to stay in the team for the cup final.”

Meanwhile, Parks has also reserved praise for Given, who has seen little first-team action over the past three seasons, aside from during a three-month loan spell at Middlesbrough last term.

The veteran keeper, whose Villa contract expires in 2016, has expressed his desire to reclaim the starting job and his positional coach claims that he is putting serious pressure on Guzan.

“He’s fully behind Guz when he plays in the league team and he puts pressure on him,” added Parks. “If Guz isn’t playing well then Shay will be back in the team.

“The reverse comes in the cup. I don’t see that really being a question.”

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