Aston Villa’s Paul Lambert: It was a tough decision to drop Shay Given

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert admits it was a tough decision to drop Shay Given for the trip to Newcastle United on Sunday

shay given
Shay Given joined Aston Villa from Manchester City in 2011 The Sport Review

shay given

Paul Lambert admits it was a difficult decision to drop Shay Given for Aston Villa’s 1-1 draw with Newcastle United at St James’ Park.

The Villa boss opted to omit the former Republic of Ireland goalkeeper after a disappointing start to the season which saw Given make a mistake in a 3-1 defeat by Everton.

The 36-year-old’s back-up Brad Guzan stepped into the fold for the trip to Newcastle, and the American was only beaten by Hatem Ben Arfa’s stunning second-half strike.

“It is always tough to leave a player out, especially a world class goalkeeper like Shay, but I made the decision and some of the saves Brad made were world class,” Lambert said.

“I had a chat with Shay about this situation the other day and he was fine.

“Brad’s handling was superb and that he was playing meant that it needed a very special goal to get past him.

“That is what we saw in Hatem Ben Arfa’s equaliser, but we come away from Newcastle feeling good about the performance.”

Lambert also urged for patience as the former Norwich City manager attempts to instil his ideas at Villa Park and give the club’s youngsters a chance to impress.

“We have a young team and everything will not click into place overnight when a new manager comes in,” he added.

“The Newcastle performance and result is a start for us as we showed against a strong team that we have some very good players around the club.”

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