Given - We can't drop level
Shay Given has told his Manchester City team-mates to maintain the same level of commitment.
Last Updated: 07/12/09 2:53pm
Shay Given has told his Manchester City team-mates to maintain the same level of commitment after two impressive wins.
Mark Hughes' men had started to wobble after a sequence of seven consecutive Premier League draws and Given admits the players conducted an inquest into what had been going wrong.
City then returned to form with a 3-0 victory over Arsenal in the Carling Cup quarter-finals before overcoming league leaders Chelsea 2-1 on Saturday.
Given believes everyone has battled harder in the past two games and puts the improvement down to what was said between the players.
"The odd rollicking never did anyone any harm if you take it in the right way," the goalkeeper said in the Manchester Evening News.
"We're all grown men as well, and you have to take criticism when it comes along.
"I think Wednesday's win over Arsenal was a really big effort from everyone. It was a platform for the Chelsea performance.
"We've fought tooth and nail for every ball. Maybe during a couple of the draws we had, we just weren't all at it.
"We had to address that and we did. We've set the bar now and we can't drop below it."
Given saved a late penalty from Frank Lampard to ensure City picked up all three points against Chelsea but he has played down his heroics, preferring to thank goalkeeping coach Kevin Hitchcock.
Hitchcock spent 13 years at Chelsea and had some advice for Given prior to the match.
"I think Kevin should take a lot of credit because he did his homework on Lampard and had me well drilled before the game," he said.
"I was delighted to keep it out and the lads cleared their lines when it came back off me. So we're pretty happy."