Hart pays tribute to Given
- Fri 10 Feb 2012, 8:21AM
- Posted by David Clayton
Joe Hart is looking forward to seeing former team-mate Shay Given when City take on Aston Villa on Sunday.
England and Ireland’s No.1 goalkeepers challenged for the same position as first choice custodian for the Blues last season before Given decided to move on.
Hart understood his close friend’s decision, though he still misses having him around Carrington and on the training ground.
"It goes without saying that Shay was too good to be a No 2 keeper,” said Hart. “Alex McLeish, an old manager of mine when I played at Birmingham, made a great decision in taking him to Aston Villa.
"I loved every minute of working with Shay. He was a massive part of this squad.
If he walked into Carrington now faces would light up, including mine, because he's a big character and a great keeper
"You look at what he has done in the game and you can’t help admire him. Watching Shay and working with him has really helped my game. He's taught me all sorts.
"I can't speak highly enough of him. He's been helpful on and off the field and I hope he’s enjoying his time at Villa Park."
Hart, who is in the form of his life this season and current Premier League Golden Glove holder for his 29 clean sheets during 2010/11, admitted he couldn’t be happier with the Blues.
“It is a very exciting time to be a City player,” said the 24-year-old. “I can’t think of myself being anywhere other than City and it really feels like home. I feel very privileged to be part of this squad.
“I’ve got a lot of love for this club, the way we’re moving forward and for the fans that have been fantastic towards me from day one.
“When I signed from Shrewsbury it was always my aim to become the No.1 here and I was prepared to do anything to achieve that, including going out on loan a few times to prove my worth.
“We just need to keep going forward and that means winning we have to keep winning games. Villa will be hard, especially with Shay in goal, but we need to take three points.”