Following a year on the road with no sign of a clean sheet, it was a relieved Shay Given who spoke to the media following the Fulham game. Having broken his duck for the season he hoped that now the new foreigners were settled in they would show that sort of performance going forward over Christmas:
‘We’ve had to stick together because there have been low times this season, the home games against Portsmouth and Liverpool were especially tough. It’s at times like that you find out who the real men in the dressing room are, but we’ve stood up and we’ve been counted. The fans were down and the players were down and we have had to dig ourselves out of a hole. The last few weeks we have started to do that and things look as if they are moving in the right direction again.
I think the foreign lads are getting used to the physical side a bit more. I think they have had a difficult time because they are used to different leagues where there isn’t as much hustle and bustle – and a big centre forward beating them up for 90 minutes. But they are getting used to it and I thought all the defenders played well against Fulham. It is a totally different league to the rest of the world, but the signs are definitely there that they are getting more used to it.”
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