Shay Given produced a wonder save for Middlesbrough as he edged closer to an international comeback – but Ireland coach Roy Keane missed it.
Martin O’Neill’s number two was at the Riverside on Saturday as Boro beat Charlton 1-0, but he had already left to beat the traffic when Given pulled off a world class save from Dale Stephens.
Given is in line for an Ireland return in the March friendly against Serbia at the Aviva Stadium but he has yet to discuss the issue with O’Neill or Keane.
Asked if Keane would have been impressed with the save, the Donegal ‘keeper said, “He might have been halfway down the A1 by the time I made that, it was that late on!
“If he was here to watch me, great, if he was here to watch someone else then so be it.
“I’ve not spoken to Roy or Martin O’Neill. I’m just delighted to be back playing with Middlesbrough.
“The next competitive game for Ireland is not until September to be fair. That’s a long, long time away and a lot can happen between now and then.”
Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka was so impressed with Given’s performance on Saturday that he wants to turn the Irishman’s loan move from Aston Villa into a permanent deal.
Given has now kept five clean sheets in 10 games for Boro.