ROBERTO MANCINI will allow Shay Given leave Manchester City on loan in January after the Republic of Ireland goalkeeper admitted he was “very, very frustrated” with life as Joe Hart’s deputy.
Given has found himself behind Hart in the pecking order at Eastlands and has yet to make an appearance this season, once again cutting an unhappy figure on the bench in yesterday’s 2-0 win at Wigan.
Before Ireland’s friendly with Argentina last month, the former Newcastle man admitted he would have to look elsewhere if Hart started the campaign.
Fulham would have been interested if Mark Schwarzer had joined Arsenal and although Celtic also wanted him, City privately gave out mixed messages on Given’s availability.
Mancini claims the nature of the position of goalkeeper explains why Hart has also played in the Europa League, although he hinted Given could feature at West Brom in the Carling Cup on Wednesday night.
That will not placate Given, however, and the goalkeeper hopes to get a temporary move in the new year.
“It’s very, very frustrating,” Given said. “I know it doesn’t matter what I do on the training pitch, I won’t be playing at the weekend. If I’m flying around like Clark Kent in goals, I still won’t play on Saturday. That can be demoralising.
“The club said I wasn’t going anywhere and that was frustrating. We’ll see what happens come January and hopefully if the situation’s the same I can go on loan and try and get some games in.
“I wouldn’t mind where a loan was and wouldn’t rule out abroad if it was a good club and a good team, no disrespect to a club that’s fighting relegation and getting pummelled every week – though at the minute that probably seems better than what I’m doing.”
Given claimed he was surprised he did not play in the 2-0 win at Red Bull Salzburg but Mancini denied he ever gave the goalkeeper the impression he would start.
Mancini did, however, insist he will listen to Given’s wishes if he still wants to leave in three months but also claimed the decision for the goalkeeper to stay last month was his own.
“I have a lot of respect for Shay,” Mancini said. “I told him this situation before the transfer market finished. I told him ‘Shay you can choose, I hope you stay here but this is the situation for this moment but I respect your decision, if you want to leave you can’.
” He decided to stay here and until January he must stay here. I understand his situation but I need him to stay here with his head 100 per cent on the work.
“I understand if a player doesn’t play it’s difficult. If he decided to leave, he could have left one month ago and now he must wait until January. If he wants to leave I respect his decision because he is a fantastic man and a fantastic goalkeeper.”
Given will almost certainly be on the list when Giovanni Trappatoni today names his Republic of Ireland squad for the October 8 Euro 2012 home qualifier against group favourites Russia, although there were three injury concerns from the weekend’s action.
Central defender Richard Dunne was withdrawn from Aston Villa’s home game with Bolton at half-time on Saturday due to a knee problem that makes him a doubt for Villa’s Carling Cup clash with Blackburn on Wednesday and next Sunday’s local derby against Wolves..
“It was a recurrence of an injury he’s had. It’s an ongoing problem,” said Villa’s outgoing caretaker manager Kevin MacDonald after the 1-1 draw. “It’s too early to say whether he’ll be fit for Wednesday, I don’t really know.
Stephen Hunt missed Wolves’ 3-1 defeat at Spurs with a foot injury and fellow midfielder Keith Andrews sat out Blackburn’s 1-1 draw with Fulham with a groin injury.
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