Date: 18th October 2008 at 1:33pm
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Having seen the Republic of Ireland, his native land, battle to a 1-0 win over Cyprus at Croke Park in midweek, Joe Kinnear has been full of praise for the two Newcastle representatives in the line up. Both Shay Given and Damien Duff certainly played their part in the eventful match as they made it 7 points out of 9 in a group headed up by Italy. Kinnear said:

“I thought Damien did exceptionally well laying on the goal. He burst into the box, chipped it to the back post and Robbie Keane was there to put it away. He is a quality asset for us and we look forward to welcoming him back.

Shay, of course, weighed in with two fantastic saves. We had our goalkeeping coach Paul Barron over there watching it as you always get a distorted view on the television. He said he couldn`t believe it. But he said Shay made two incredible saves to keep Ireland in it. I played for the country for 10 years, and I`m pleased to see they`re doing OK, even though Italy look like the team that`s going to win that group.”