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Feb, 5, 2009

Given slams Newcastle after joining Man City

Shay Given has hit out at Newcastle United over his exit from the club, claiming his last six months at St James' Park simply "fizzled out" and highlighting the 5-1 loss to Liverpool as "a low point in my career".

The goalkeeper had grown disillusioned at the club after almost 12 years service and made no attempt to hide his desire to find a new challenge, though he did not get his move to Manchester City until handing in a transfer request last week.

Given was angry that the Magpies delayed his exit until the end of the transfer window. He believes City should have been more accommodating given the length of time he has spent in the north east since moving from Blackburn Rovers in 1997.

The Ireland international first signalled his intention to leave Newcastle at the end of December when he released a statement via his lawyer describing how he was considering quitting with the club in disarray.

"I just felt that after I'd been there for nearly 12 years and the service I gave the club, then the regime at Newcastle could have handled the whole thing a bit better,'' he said.

"They made me do things I didn't want to do and this was an opportunity to further my career and pick up more silverware.

"In the last six months it has been fizzling out. It has not been enjoyable going into training. Maybe it's myself just being selfish, but I think I deserved a little bit better than that.

"The Liverpool match was a low point in my career. It was one of those points where if I had left the pitch and never seen a football again I would have been happy I was that low.

"I didn't know if I was going to leave but a lot of people said I was happy and settled which, I was in a way, but I wasn't comfortable.

"I wasn't comfortable with the way the club was going. I wanted to be challenging for honours.

"By coming here I thought I could be at a club that is challenging for honours. I didn't want to finish my career regretting not taking up this offer, I'm an ambitious guy and I want to do the best I can in such a short career.''

Newcastle boss Joe Kinnear, who isists there was nothing he could do to persuade Given to stay at the club, was diplomatic in his response to the goalkeeper's comments.

He said: "I have always had a great relationship with Shay. He is one of the best goalkeepers in the world. I would be the last person in the world who would want to sell him, but these things happen.

"Shay made it very clear. He put the transfer request in and I passed it on to the board of directors and the chairman, and that was it."

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