Paul Lambert defends Shay Given omission

Shay Given
© PA Photos
Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert says that he made the right choice by dropping Shay Given.

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert has defended his own decision to drop Shay Given ahead of their draw at Newcastle United.

American goalkeeper Brad Guzan was preferred to the Irishman between the sticks and went on to make a number of good saves during the 1-1 draw on Tyneside.

Lambert says that it was a hard decision to drop Given, although he believes it was the right one.

"Any decision you make to leave anybody out is really, really tough. Shay is a world-class goalkeeper and has been for the last 15 years, but I made a decision I thought was right for the football club and the two saves Brad made, one in the first half and the free-kick at the end, were world class," said Lambert.

"It's the team that's more important and I am sure Shay understands that the team is the most important thing. I spoke to him yesterday. He was disappointed, but it's not changed my opinion of Shay Given. He is a world-class goalkeeper.

"I just thought this was the right decision."

The point was Villa's first of the season.

Hatem Ben Arfa
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