'It's been a tough few weeks for everybody' - Ireland goalkeeper Shay Given

Republic of Ireland shot-stopper admits that it has been a difficult tournament and accepts bulk of the blame for Italian goals
Aston Villa goalkeeper Shay Given has revealed that it has been a difficult month for Ireland as they concluded their Euro 2012 effort with three straight defeats. The Boys in Green were beaten 2-0 by Italy in Poznan with goals coming in either half from Antonio Cassano and substitute Mario Balotelli.

"It's been tough few weeks for everybody, the squad and me, and especially the fact that we are coming home without any points has been especially tough to get on with for us," Given said after the game.

He continued: "We played well tonight and we feel the goals were harsh on us and we should have done something for ourselves."

The 36-year-old custodian was also self-critical of his own performance, assuming the blame for the concession of the two goals which ensured his team's demise.

"The first goal was of course my mistake but it takes a lot of time for the ball to end up in the back of the net and it was also good delivery from Pirlo as well."

He added: "Cassano is the smallest player on the pitch as well so from that point of view is disappointing.

"And how it led to the corner was disappointing, again it was my mistake, I should have dealt much better with the shot but with that humid weather it gets a bit tougher.

"I have to admit that I should have done a lot better though," conceded the Donegal man.

Given also took time to praise the performance of his teammate Keith Andrews, who was sent off in the dying minutes of the game.

He said: "Keith [Andrews] had a great performance tonight I think. His sending off was a little bit harsh for me.

"He showed some frustration on the way off but his display was excellent, as it was in previous games," added Given.

Reflecting on the tournament as a whole for the Boys in Green, the Irish number one stated that he could not find any redeeming features, before turning his thoughts towards his own international future.

"This minute it's tough to take any positives from the tournament," said Given. "We were beaten three times, we expected to do a lot better before we came here but maybe in few months time we will look at the bigger picture and draw more optimistic conclusions."

He continued: "I'm coming back home, I will try to spend some time with my wife and my kids. My decision over the future will be both, professional and personal.

"I will also speak to the new boss at Aston Villa to see how he sees it," concluded the goalkeeper.