Football

Given gifts Hughes birthday cheer

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Mark Hughes praised goalkeeper Shay Given who ensured the Manchester City manager's 46th birthday was not a complete damp squib as his heroics earned a point at Birmingham.

Given produced a string of fine saves during the goalless draw including a second-half penalty save to deny Birmingham midfielder James McFadden after skipper Nigel De Jong had handled.

Hughes said: "Given played very well. We are pleased that he did. He saved a penalty and kept us in the game and allowed us to take something out of the game."

He added: "I gave him a glowing tribute leading into the game. I don't think he needed it, and it didn't inspire his performance against Birmingham, because he does that very capably on his own.

"He is an outstanding goalkeeper and has been for the majority of his career.

"It is not just a case of him coming to Manchester City and producing. He has done it through his career and it is a credit to him. We are very pleased that he is with us."

Hughes' side point lifted them into fourth place above Tottenham on goal difference, while they shared the spoils for the fourth successive league game.

But the former Wales manager is remaining upbeat.

He said: "Three of the four draws have been away. We are picking points up away. That's a positive from our capability last season.

"We made a flying start and people expected us to win every game. That is not going to happen this year. We've seen right through the Premier League that everyone is dropping points and I am sure that will continue. We are not immune from that."

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Topics:
Tottenham Hotspur
James McFadden
Football
Manchester City
Mark Hughes
Premier League
Shay Given
Nigel De Jong
Mark Hughes
Birmingham

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