Given ready to fight for his place at Stoke

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Given staying in the Premier League for another season after joining Stoke
Given staying in the Premier League for another season after joining Stoke

Republic of Ireland keeper Shay Given admits he faces a battle to get into the Stoke team following his move from Aston Villa earlier this month.

Youngster Jack Butland will be hoping to establish himself as Stoke's No.1 following the departure of Asmir Begovic to Chelsea, yet Given hopes he can push his claims for a starting spot in Mark Hughes' side.

"Obviously Jack has finished the season in great form and obviously it is the manager's decision. Of course I would love to play but if not then I will be there to support Jack," Given told Sky Sports.

"He's a fantastic young 'keeper, the England U21 goalkeeper and captain and he has a huge future ahead of him. Whoever plays the most important thing is that we get the result for Stoke.

"The last couple of seasons you could say that Stoke have overachieved but you would always want to improve and there is a very good squad here with hopefully a couple more new faces to come in.

"The manager has done a great job but we would love to win a trophy and I am really excited about the new season. It is a good time to be a Stoke player – and to be a Stoke fan."

Given also offered his views on Christain Benteke's imminent move to Liverpool, as he backed his former Villa team-mate to shine at Anfield.

"Christian Benteke is a class player, his goals were so important last year for keeping us in the division," added Given. 

"Of course, £32m is a lot of money but he does not come up with that price tag, it is the clubs themselves. Only time will tell if he is worth that money.

"If he scores the goals and gets them back into the Champions League then people will say it is money well spent.

"But Liverpool might have to change their style of play to suit him as he is more of a target man, but if Liverpool can get the ball to him in the box then I think he will get the goals."