By Brendan O’Brien
Shay Given has condemned calls for the home supporters to boo Aiden McGeady and James McCarthy when the Republic of Ireland face their Scottish hosts at Parkhead in their European Championship qualifier this Friday.
Scotland’s former Leeds United and Manchester United defender, Gordon McQueen, was particularly vocal in expressing the hope that the pair receive a “horrible reception” for choosing to play with Ireland despite having been born in Glasgow.
“I felt the comments were a bit out of order that I have read in the last few days,” said Given. “The Scottish team have got some players who weren’t born in Scotland as well so I think it was a bit unfair to make it so personal, to be honest.”
Given echoed manager Martin O’Neill’s opinion when declaring that the two midfielders would be well able to handle any hostilities in what the goalkeeper said would be an atmosphere comparable to an Old Firm game.
The Donegal man also denied that the visitors were in need of any motivation given the magnitude of the fixture, but the willingness in some quarters to stir up Scottish fans’ feelings about McCarthy and McGeady have clearly rankled.
“I just read comments in the last few days that I felt were a bit personal and out of order because, as I say, they have got players as well and I’m not having a go at their players,” Given reiterated.
“That’s the rules that FIFA make and I just think it was a bit personal to get them involved and mention their families and things like that.”