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Newcastle's Given set for Ireland record

Shay Given will become the Republic of Ireland's most capped goalkeeper against Slovakia on Saturday night.

The 31-year-old has been plagued by injuries in recent years, including a persistent groin problem which ruled him out of the start of the season, while a serious tear in his bowel which sidelined him in 2006.

But the Newcastle keeper is convinced a Sam Allardyce revolution at St James' Park will help minimise his chances of picking up more injuries as the Republic's Euro 2008 campaign enters a crucial phase.

Given, who will surpass Packie Bonner when he wins his 81st cap in Bratislava, has spoken of his disappointment that he was left out of last week's Newcastle team to face Wigan despite declaring himself fit.

Given's value is evident to Steve Staunton's side. He has not conceded a goal in Ireland's last three competitive matches.

Among the games he missed were the 5-2 loss in Cyprus last year and the 4-0 friendly hammering by Holland.

Given insists he will not have eclipsing Bonner's record on his mind as he goes into the games against the Slovaks then the Czech Republic next Wednesday, realistically needing at least four points to keep their hopes alive.

"Records are something to look back on at the end of your career but at the moment all I am concentrating on is getting the results we need," said Given.

"I am not thinking about records at all."

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