ROY KEANE will make a visit to the Riverside Stadium this afternoon to watch a revitalised Shay Given aim to keep a fifth clean sheet in his last six outings for Middlesbrough.
Keane, the former Sunderland boss, is expected back in the North-East today in his new role as the Republic of Ireland’s assistant manager to contemplate tempting Given out of retirement.
Given has not played for his country since retiring after Euro 2012 but Ireland boss Martin O’Neill has hinted he is open to the idea of recalling the former Newcastle player to the international fold.
The Middlesbrough goalkeeper, who is on loan to the Teesside club from Aston Villa until February 28, has been hugely impressive in the Championship and that has not gone unnoticed – and he has not ruled out playing for his country again.
Given said: “There’s no Irish players playing for Charlton is there? Roy might be scouting for ITV or something. I don’t know!
“The next competitive game is in September, it’s only January. A week in football is a long time so nine months is a lifetime. I’ve not spoken to Martin O’Neill, my number is not hard to get.
“If Roy is coming to watch me then great. If he is coming to watch somebody else then so be it. It’s too early to say at the minute what I feel about it. They will be looking for their options in March because Keiren Westwood is injured.”
Given has been reinvigorated by his loan move to Middlesbrough in December after falling completely out of favour at Aston Villa under Paul Lambert.
He is unsure what the future holds for him at club level, although his performances for Boro so far are sure to have got Aitor Karanka thinking about trying to secure a longer term deal.
The 37-year-old, who has 125 caps for his country, is keen to keep performing to help Middlesbrough climb up the Championship and see where that leads.
“I don’t know whether they want me involved or not so it’s hard for me to say yea or ney,” said Given. “I don’t know what the set up is. I’ve not had a conversation. There’s no point me even commenting until he (O’Neill) has contacted me.
“I did have a conversation with Giovanni Trapattoni (the previous Ireland boss) about playing again. He said because I was not playing for Villa, which was a valid argument, then he was looking in a different direction, which was fair enough.
“That’s why I say this September is a long time away. I could be back as third choice at Aston Villa by then. I don’t know. It’s too soon to even comment.”