Republic of Ireland 2 Oman 0: Martin O'Neill gives no assurances to Shay Given that his place in starting line-up is a guarantee

 

Republic of Ireland boss Martin O'Neill is remaining coy over Shay Given's chances of starting the opening Euro 2016 qualifier in Georgia on Sunday.

The 38-year-old, who retired from international football after the Euro 2012 finals, won his 126th senior cap in Wednesday night's 2-0 friendly victory over Oman after returning to the fold.

However, he will have to wait to see if O'Neill will retain him in Tbilisi at the weekend or stick with David Forde, who has been his first-choice goalkeeper to date.

O'Neill said: "He didn't have very much to do. Someone asked if he is guaranteed a place in the starting line-up - absolutely not.

"He did fine. He didn't have anything to do, but for the last couple of days, he has been excellent around the place. He has been very encouraging to the other goalkeepers and to everyone else.

"Actually, he has been very positive in terms of attitude. He's not expected anything and that's the way it will be."

Given, who was replaced by Rob Elliot at half-time, did not have a save of note to make as Ireland won without having to be anywhere near their best.

Goals from Kevin Doyle and Alex Pearce either side of half-time were enough to secure the victory, although both David Meyler and Aiden McGeady hit the woodwork.

The challenge will be significantly stiffer in Georgia, where O'Neill will turn to his big guns once again after fielding an experimental side at the Aviva Stadium and collecting just the second win of his eight games in charge to date, a run which included clashes with World Cup-bound Italy, Costa Rica and Portugal.

He said: "If you want, every friendly game, let's play someone you think you can beat - I'm not in for that.

"Listen, we have won the game, we have taken a bit of confidence - there was never lack of confidence even with the games in the summer time.

"We have changed the side around so many times now just more or less to see what players can do, all with the one thing in mind: to try to get as prepared as possible for Sunday."

Darron Gibson played 70 minutes one his return from a cruciate ligament injury which sidelined him for 10 months, but central midfield partner Stephen Quinn caught the eye with a quietly assured display.

O'Neill said: "Stephen has done fine. Apparently, he might have been looking at one stage maybe of leaving Hull, but he has fought back, fought back impressively to try to get a starting place in their team, and he is playing with a bit of confidence."

PA

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Sport
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Fans hold up a scarf at West Ham vs Liverpool
footballAfter Arsenal's clear victory, focus turns to West Ham vs Liverpool
New Articles
i100... she's just started school
News
news
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Sport
football
New Articles
i100... despite rising prices
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam