Shay Given: We need to save Villa from relegation before dreaming of FA Cup glory
SHAY Given wants his Aston Villa side to have their Premier League status secured this weekend so they can relax ahead of their FA Cup final date.
Villa face Southampton tomorrow and while they still have another game - against Burnley on the final day of the league season - to reach safety, Given (right) wants the matter wrapped up nice and early.
"The vibe in camp is that we're not safe yet," says Given.
"There have been big pressure games the past two weeks. We took care of our own business, which was great.
"We are thoroughly focused on getting the results that we need to get because we don't want it to go into the last game of the season.
"It's in our hands, of course, but still we'd like to get it done this weekend and then we can relax a bit and enjoy not too much tension around Villa Park next weekend - and then look forward to the FA Cup final the following week."
Villa boss Tim Sherwood was Given's team-mate at Blackburn Rovers and the Donegal man owes his boss as Sherwood has given him a run in the side in recent league games, Given picked ahead of long-time No. 1 Brad Guzan.
"All the players have been impressed with how positive he's been since he's walked in the door," says Given of Paul Lambert's successor.
"He's given everyone a new lease of life, a belief and confidence in their own ability. He's given us a licence to go out and express ourselves.
"Yes he shows respect for the opposition but he doesn't fear anyone. He wants us to have that belief that we are a good team with very good players. I think the group has responded to that and the results speak for themselves really," added Given.
"I am delighted to be back in the team. It's been a long couple of seasons. I am loving every minute of it."