Shay Given hails Aston Villa’s defensive performance against Fulham

The Irish goalkeeper has claimed that the weekend’s clean sheet at Craven Cottage was not just down to his display, but because of the players he had in front of him

Aston Villa new boy Shay Given enjoyed his Premier League debut with the club keeping a clean sheet, but he has credited his back four for the part they played in shutting out Fulham.

The Irish keeper joined from Manchester City earlier in the summer, and his first competitive game for his new club ended 0-0.

He told the club's official website: "I was pleased with the clean sheet of course - and it always helps!

"But it's not just about me. It was the whole back four and the team as a unit.

"I thought we all defended really well. We got some really great blocks in there too. We were all delighted with the clean sheet.

He continued: "Fulham are a handful. Bobby Zamora is one of the best hold-up players in the division and Andy Johnson is nippy and sharp around the box. But we defended well.

"Big Ginge [James Collins] and Dunnie [Richard Dunne] at the back were fantastic, as were the two full-backs too.

"But the whole team were tremendous. It's so unfair to single people out because I thought we were solid as a unit.

"Craven Cottage is always a tough place to come and we must remember they have already played some games in Europe so they were sharp in terms of match fitness.

"All in all, we were pretty happy with a point. I think we had the better of the chances in the first half - with a couple of good ones - and they came into it more after the break.

"I thought overall a draw was a fair result."