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May 1, 2012

Given: City will not have bought the title

Former Manchester City goalkeeper Shay Given believes any accusations that the club's financial clout has secured them the title will be without credit if they clinch this year's Premier League crown.

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After their 1-0 win over bitter rivals Manchester United sent City top on goal difference with just two games remaining, Given says it would be for the good of the game if City manage to seal the title.

"It's fantastic for the Premier League if, please God, Manchester City do win it, because Man United have won it enough times," he told BBC Radio Five Live.

"I've got lots of friends at Manchester City and it would be fantastic if they could pick the trophy up, but they have got a tough game at my old club Newcastle at the weekend. I think they're in the driving seat and hopefully they can get across the line."

Aston Villa keeper Given, who swapped Eastlands for the Midlands last summer, also refused to give any credence to suggestions that City have bought their way to the title, should they succeed over the final couple of weeks.

"I don't think [they will have bought the title]. Years ago I was at Blackburn and Jack Walker had a lot of money and he invested in the team and Blackburn Rovers won the league, and I think if you look at the recent success of Chelsea and Manchester United they have had lots of investment in the team too," he said.

"It's just that Manchester City have done it over a shorter period than the bigger clubs. But it's part and parcel of modern-day football."

Given added: "I'm sure Mancini is on a high this morning. It's a great win but I'm sure he's not getting carried away, there are a few games left to go and he will be keeping the players really focused on the job in hand. It's in their hands now and it would be a shame if they threw it away."

The 36-year-old also reiterated that Villa boss Alex McLeish has the full support of the Villa dressing room, as pressure mounts on the Scot with the Midlands club fighting to secure its Premier League status.

"Every manager in the Premier League's job is on the line but obviously we're under a bit of pressure and Alex is under a bit of pressure. But we have got to take responsibility ourselves, players and staff alike.

"Does McLeish still have dressing room support? Yes of course he does, he's a fantastic manager and we're all right behind him but we'd obviously like results to be better this season."

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