Hart's 'experience & character been vital for Celtic' - Given

Former Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Shay Given says it would be a "fairy-tale" ending to Joe Hart's career if Celtic can lift the Scottish Cup on Saturday.

The game against Rangers will be the final game of Hart's illustrious career, and Given - who played alongside him at Manchester City - was full of praise for the way the former England stopper goes about his business.

"Going to Celtic has been brilliant for him," Given said. "He has had an amazing career and he is finishing on a real high in Scotland.

"What a way it will be for him to go out if they win the Scottish Cup final as well as winning the league again, it would be fairy-tale stuff and he has earned it.

"I am a Celtic fan as well so I’ve been following him closely since he went there. The title looked like it was maybe slipping away, but they managed to hang in there.

"It is people like Joe with his experience and character that make such a difference in these situations. He has been there before, chasing teams down and winning the Premier League of course, and that experience and influence is so important off the pitch as well as off it. It’s been vital for Celtic in the last couple of seasons."

Hart won three Premier League titles and an FA Cup with Manchester City, and could win his seventh domestic trophy with Celtic on Saturday.

Given says plenty of Hart's success can be attributed to the way he backs himself to perform.

"Whatever has happened, the one thing he has always had as part of his make-up is confidence," Given added.

"I think you need to have that self-belief in what you are doing to have a long career like he has done. It is a lonely position sometimes because you are out there on your own.

"Joe has made mistakes like we all have, and that is part and parcel of the position we play in, but it is how you respond and react afterwards and he has been brilliant over the course of his career to keep a level head through good and bad times – that part has never changed."

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