Staunton rubbishes rift reports
By Tom Adams
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Steve Staunton says Glenn Roeder has no qualms over Shay Given's involvement.
Republic of Ireland boss Steve Staunton has rubbished reports of a rift developing between himself and Newcastle boss Glenn Roeder.
The two managers are reputed to have fallen out over Shay Given's inclusion in the Republic squad to face San Marino on Wednesday, with the Magpies shot stopper only just returning to fitness after suffering a perforated bowel in September.
With Newcastle struggling at the wrong end of The Premiership, Roeder will be desperate to have a fully-fit Given at his disposal sooner rather than later, but Staunton insists the Magpies boss has no concerns over the goalkeeper's participation in the Euro 2008 qualifier.
"I don't know where the stories came from. I've spoken to Glenn and there's no problem," insisted Staunton.
"Obviously, Newcastle are concerned, bearing in mind their position in the league, and I can fully understand that.
"But, as Glenn and myself know, this is a wonderful game for Shay to mark his comeback, in front of a full house and I certainly hope he won't be too busy.
"It will be more a case of him concentrating for 90 minutes, and then he goes into the squad for Newcastle's game with Arsenal.
"He needs a game and to be playing again and, given the choice between an international match and reserve-team football, I know where I would want my keeper to play.
"With his presence alone, Shay is a player we want around the camp."
With Given returning to the Irish fold, Sheffield United custodian Paddy Kenny has been axed by Staunton with the manager preferring to place his faith in Wayne Henderson and Nicky Colgan.
The international boss cited 'personal problems' and fitness concerns as his motivation for leaving out Kenny, but Blades boss Neil Warnock has described Staunton's reasons as 'rubbish'.
Kenny impressed in United's 2-2 draw with Bolton at the weekend, but Staunton has defended his decision to drop the 28-year-old despite Warnock's attack.
"I gave the excuses I did," said Staunton.
"He had been struggling with injuries since the end of last season and he did have one or two personal problems after the game against Cyprus.
"I felt that when Wayne Henderson and Nicky Colgan came in, they did their bit and, as I have always said, those in possession will stay there.
"Wayne has definitely gone ahead of Paddy in the pecking order. He has not let me down and has proved he has presence about him.
"I always knew that from my time with Aston Villa, and that is why I had no hesitation in playing him for the game against the Czechs."
Staunton's side enter Wednesday's clash having taken just one point from their first three games, and the Republic boss has welcomed the return of Sir Bobby Robson after the 73-year-old recovered from brain surgery to assist the squad ahead of the game against San Marino.
"It's great that he [Robson] is back.
"It's been a remarkable recovery. Unbelievable, when you think about it.
"He was up at five o'clock yesterday, so that shows the enthusiasm of the man and shows what he wants us to do.
"He wants us to be successful and he is proving it by being here, even with all that has happened to him."