Lambert hails 'world class' Given
Soccer:Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert has hailed his current number two keeper Shay Given as world class after helping his side stay on course for a potential cup double.
Lambert believes Given is unfortunate not to be playing on a regular basis because of the form of Brad Guzan despite Villa leaking 17 goals in their last four Barclays Premier League games.
Given again showed his ability with two superb saves during yesterday’s 2-1 FA Cup third round home win over Ipswich ahead of Tuesday’s Capital One Cup semi-final first leg at Bradford.
Lambert said: “I think Shay has been unfortunate because of the way Brad has been playing as well. Shay Given is a world-class goalkeeper but Brad Guzan has been playing fantastic for us as well. Shay makes saves that I think are impossible to make. He is very good.
“If you ask the young players in front of him, they will tell you what they think of him as well. I can’t speak highly enough of the way Shay plays. I thought the save he made in the second half was world class.”
Lambert is already relishing the prospect of Tuesday’s clash with Bradford who pulled off a shock win over Arsenal in the previous round. He said: “It is massive for the football club, it is massive for us as a team and it will be massive for individuals to get through. It is going to be a tough game. It is a two-legged affair and we are certainly playing well enough.”
Lambert has been boosted by the return to fitness of three experienced players in Darren Bent, Gabriel Agbonlahor and Charles N’Zogbia to help supplement his crop of young talent. Bent produced a trademark finish to cancel out Michael Chopra’s opener from an N’Zogbia pass before Andreas Weimann’s superb headed winner.