Stephen Warnock praises Shay Given for leaving Manchester City


Stephen Warnock has hailed the impact of Aston Villa keeper Shay Given and believes he has justified his decision to quit Manchester City after being frozen out by Robero Mancini.

Given was not content to remain number two to Joe Hart at the Etihad Stadium for a secoond campaign and made the £5 million move to Villa last summer as a replacement for Brad Friedel.

The Republic of Ireland keeper has been in outstanding form in a transitional season for Villa and Warnock believes the 35-year-old can play for another five years.

Left-back Warnock said: "It's the pride of a footballer to come back and show people how good he is and prove people wrong.

"If your face fits, then great. Shay's face didn't fit at Manchester City at the time.

"But he's come here and his face fits and we are reaping the rewards of a great buy."

Warnock can see similarities between Given and Friedel, who moved to Tottenham last summer.

"A lot of clubs probably looked at him but thought about his age, but I think you'll see that he's similar to Brad Friedel.

"He's going to play into his 40s in my opinion. Shay has looked after himself and he's reaping the rewards of that."