first_imgShay Given says he has suffered enough heartbreak in football as the Republic of Ireland head into Friday’s Euro 2012 play-off first leg with Estonia.Over the last 14 years Given has been involved in three play-offs and only qualified once, beating Iran to qualify for the 2002 World Cup.The Donegal man is determined he will not be part of another defeat, as Ireland look to qualify for the European Championship for the first time since 1988. The goalkeeper told the Daily Mail: “I think I’ve had my fair share of losing. We have a real belief in the squad and this is our time.“We are at home for the second leg. That’s the first time for me. When was the last time an Irish team qualified for anything in Dublin?“It’s nearly 25 years since we were involved in the European Championship and if we could qualify in Dublin that would be very, very special.“I was in Estonia ten years ago. We won both group games 2-0. But in their history, this is their strongest team by a mile. They beat Serbia and Slovenia. “Our players and fans need to have a reality check. We must not get ahead of ourselves. We must get a good start out there. But we have a real belief in the squad that this is our time.“We can’t fear it, we must believe, be confident that this is our time. It’s a real chance for us. I think our squad is pretty good. But we’re a small country.“For the first leg, Kevin Doyle is suspended and Shane Long is injured. But we’ll have Robbie Keane, Simon Cox was man of the match last time and there’s Jonny Walters who is playing really well.“Four or five years ago if Robbie was injured there’d be a void, but we have a couple missing and still have strength. That’s a big plus. And we’ve been around together as a group for a few years now.“We’ve matured and we feel it’s been to long since Ireland were there. I think qualification would have an impact on the country as a whole. “There’s been a lot of doom and gloom with the way the economy has gone. We’d hoped the lads at the rugby World Cup would get to the final and give everyone a lift.“This is our chance to do that, to give people a feel good factor; not just in football but in life in general. If we could do that I’d feel great about it.”Two years ago the Republic of Ireland missed out on a place in South Africa to France in controversial fashion and the memory is still strong for Given.He added: “We played well that night, one of my best performances in my Irish career. It went into extra-time and we felt we had the momentum. “Then came the handball. I still feel the way I felt then. It was just so blatant, so blatant, it felt unreal, like we were about to take a free-kick. Even Henry knew.“It was like he was handling the ball to keep it from going out of play. You’ve seen players get booked for that.“But then I turned to the ref and he was pointing to the centre circle. Unbelievable!“It knocked the wind out of us. How it wasn’t spotted! It felt like an injustice. I was in disbelief. We had played so well and this was the end of 18 months’ hard graft, of being away from your family, hotels, travel and it comes down to this one incident.“It’s just really hard to get your head around it.“You could think about it as injustice, but Paris gave us belief, actually, at the beginning of this campaign and we went and drew in Italy.”THE MATCH IS LIVE ON SKY SPORTS 1 FROM 7PM THIS FRIDAY.SHAY: ‘I’VE SUFFERED ENOUGH HEARTACHE…TIME FOR US TO WIN’ was last modified: November 8th, 2011 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Shay Givensky sportslast_img

Leave a Comment