Belfast Telegraph

Mancini hopes to retain Given

Roberto Mancini will fight to keep Shay Given at Manchester City despite handing Joe Hart the number one jersey in Saturday's Barclays Premier League opener at Tottenham.

Hart fully justified his selection at White Hart Lane as big-spending City somehow survived a first-half onslaught to head back to the north west with a goalless draw. But that will be no consolation to Republic of Ireland star Given, who revealed last week he would consider quitting the club if he lost his place in goal.

"I hope that Shay can stay here with us," said the Italian, who confirmed Hart would be his number one "for now". "We have time, another 20 days, until the end of the market. I respect every decision but I hope that Shay stays here."

He added: "At this moment, Joe plays. Because we have four competitions, we need Shay. I'm sorry for one goalkeeper but I chose Joe and I'm very happy to have Shay Given.

"I spoke to him. He's a big name, he's a big goalkeeper, he respects my decision."

Hart produced a string of wonder-saves from Jermain Defoe, Tom Huddlestone and Benoit Assou-Ekotto to keep Spurs at bay as his multi-million-pound team-mates went AWOL.

Harry Redknapp was left to rue Hart's inspired display.

"We were determined to press all over the park and that's what we did." said the Spurs boss.

"When we won possession, I thought we moved the ball about with great style and created lots of chances.

"Their keeper was fantastic and some days it goes like that."


From Belfast Telegraph