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Published: 19:53 | 18/4/16

Hughes starts Given to 'protect' Haugaard

Ireland goalkeeper makes first Premier League start for Stoke

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes says he selected Shay Given in goal against Tottenham on Monday night to "protect" Jakob Haugaard from "unfair focus".

The Republic of Ireland goalkeeper makes his first Premier League for the Potters, two days before his 40th birthday, and almost a year after his last top-flight appearance in Aston Villa’s 6-1 defeat to Southampton in May 2015.

Hughes started Haugaard in Stoke's last two Premier League matches, following the season-ending ankle injury to first choice Jack Butland on international duty with England last month.

The Denmark Under-20 goalkeeper has struggled, however, conceding six goals in two games including four against an under-strength Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday.

"Jakob Haugaard has done really well, he had some focus placed on him after the Liverpool game, unfairly in my view," Hughes said.

"He is ahead of his development but we have to protect him. We will benefit from Shay's experience tonight."

Given hasn't played since limping out of Ireland's 1-0 victory over world champions Germany on 8 October, but Monday's recall will give the Donegal native hope that he can displace Darren Randolph in goal for Ireland's Euro 2016 campaign in France this June.

The former Newcastle, Manchester City and Aston Villa goalkeeper made his last club appearance in Stoke's 1-0 Capital One Cup third round victory over Fulham at Craven Cottage on 22 September.

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