SHAY GIVEN has backed his old team-mates to come out “fighting” when the new Championship season kicks off on August 8.
The United legend’s decision to quit St James’s Park was fully understood by the majority of Toon fans in January after more than 10 years of loyal service and outstanding performances between the posts for the Magpies.
However, despite his move to pastures new with Manchester City, Given says that, while United might be in turmoil, there are still positives for the Toon Army.
Given, who has been promoting Sir Bobby Robson’s big night on Tyneside next month, told the Chronicle: “I don’t want to say too much on the situation up there because it is bad enough for people.
“There are not many too many positives for the fans right now.
“The sooner the situation is sorted out and the club is sold the better for the fans.
“I really hope it goes through in the next few weeks, because the sale has gone on for a while now.
“You want it sorted in time for the start of the season.”
With Given’s close pal Steve Harper now United’s No1, and youngsters like Andy Carroll, Kazenga LuaLua and Nile Ranger hungry to take their chance, not to mention experienced internationals like Damien Duff, Nicky Butt and Obafemi Martins all keen to stay, the Irish ace feels there is a genuine chance of promotion at the first attempt.
Given added: “I know the players are determined to get back where they belong as soon as possible. That place is the Premier League.
“The other major factor is the fantastic support up there.
“They are going to have to add to the squad as well, but they will be in there fighting – and they have a good chance of returning straight away to the top flight.”