The Republic of Ireland's most-capped played with 109 appearances has found himself playing second fiddle to Joe Hart at Manchester City this season. However, the inaugural Carling Nations Cup tournament - which kicks off with Giovanni Trapattoni's Irish facing Wales in Dublin - has handed the 34-year-old a chance of some action.
He said: "It is nice to play. If I wasn't picked I don't have a case to say I should be playing because I'm not playing for my club. It's thanks to Mr Trapattoni that I'm starting.
"I'm just delighted and I want to play football. I have trained more than I have ever trained. When you're playing, the next day you have a warm-down, so I've just stuck to training. I'm working harder than normal and hopefully that will stand me in good stead."
Given, who will be skipper, revealed his frustration at his City situation but is trying to remain positive.
"I thought there was a possibility (of moving) towards the end of the transfer window but the club wanted me to stay," he said. "When you are a player you probably only think about yourself but you have got to respect what the club want as well. We are in three competitions this year with a realistic chance of winning all three. It is frustrating for me but who knows in football? Things can change very quickly. We have a lot of games coming up and anything could happen."