Taylor hails hero Given

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Birmingham keeper Maik Taylor has hailed his Manchester City counterpart Shay Given as one of the world's best and believes he has become even better since his move to Eastlands.

Taylor feels Given is currently at the peak of his career, as demonstrated during Sunday's goalless draw at St Andrew's, where the former Newcastle man Given pulled off a series of fine saves, most notably a second-half penalty stop from James McFadden, to earn his team a point.

Taylor told Press Association Sport: "How good is Given? He was always top quality at Newcastle but, since he has gone to Manchester City, he has almost gone to another level."

The Northern Ireland number one added: "He really is one of the world's best, not just in the Premier League, and he never put a foot wrong against us.

"His kicking and distribution was unbelievable and everything is top drawer about Shay at the moment. He is really on song.

"But he has worked extremely hard to get to the level that he is at now and good luck to him.

"He broke our hearts but it was a fantastic save from the penalty. It was a decent penalty. He definitely earned them a point and we felt a bit deflated.

"Shay rarely makes a mistake. Keepers are judged on mistakes and reliability and he rarely makes them. But in addition to that he also comes up with a world-class save when needed as well. He is a very good presence for Man City and I can't praise him highly enough."

City boss Mark Hughes echoed Taylor's sentiments and said: "That is why I brought Shay to the club because I knew he would have that capacity when you need someone to produce something for you to keep you in the game.

"Shay has done that right throughout his career and he was exceptional again at Birmingham to earn us the point."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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James McFadden
Manchester City
Mark Hughes
Premier League
Shay Given
Mark Hughes
Maik Taylor

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