Temuri Ketsbaia hoping for Shay Given exclusion

Georgia manager Temuri Ketsbaia admits that he would rather not see former Newcastle teammate Shay Given in goal for the Republic of Ireland when the sides meet tomorrow.

Georgia manager Temuri Ketsbaia has said that he would rather not see Shay Given in the opposition lineup when his side face Republic of Ireland in a Euro 2016 qualifier on Sunday.

Given was coaxed out of international retirement by Ireland boss Martin O'Neill for the qualifying campaign and could start in goal instead of David Forde tomorrow night.

Any appearance for the 38-year-old keeper would see him come up against former Newcastle United teammate Ketsbaia, and the Georgian was full of praise for the Aston Villa man.

"I have known Shay for a long time now and our families are friends. I am glad to see him in Georgia - but I wouldn't be glad to see him play because he's really a very good goalkeeper," he told reporters.

"I don't want to make the decision for Martin O'Neill - he knows better than anybody else - but [Given] is a really fantastic goalkeeper.

"He has been with several clubs in the Premier League and it's obviously good for the Irish national team to see him again. But I don't know. We will try to score a goal - we don't care who is going to stand between the goalposts."

Ketsbaia also acknowledged that his side face a "very tough" test in their opening qualifying match.

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Georgia's national football team head coach Temuri Ketsbaia gives a press conference on March 21, 2013
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