By Dan Harrison
Shay Given hailed "inspirational" defender Richard Dunne for his role in helping Villa secure a potentially crucial point against West Brom.
Dunne returned to help Villa shut out the Baggies having missed the last two months with a broken collarbone.
The boys in claret and blue produced an excellent defensive display at The Hawthorns with Dunne and Carlos Cuellar in top form, while Given made a stunning late save to deny Peter Odemwingie.
And the Republic of Ireland goalkeeper admitted the presence of Dunne gave the team a huge lift.
"He was inspirational just to play," said the 36-year-old.
"He only trained for a couple of days. He's been out for eight weeks with a broken collarbone and to put in a performance like that just speaks volumes of him.
"It just gave the whole changing room a lift as well to have him back out there with the armband on and he is a real leader on the pitch and off the pitch and we are delighted to have him back.
"I had very little to do and that is all credit to Dunney and Carlos Cuellar, who I thought did great too. Credit must go to them.
"It is a big lift having Richard back. It has been a long time since he played and his performance was immense.
"Even just seeing him with the captain's armband on gave everyone a huge lift before the game."
Given was delighted to secure a point for Villa by scooping out Odemwingie's last-gasp effort.
But he felt opposite number Ben Foster had a greater influence on proceedings with a string of saves to keep Roy Hodgson's side in the match.
"He just seemed to be free at the back post and had a good part of the goal to hit, I suppose," said Given.
"For me, I was behind the line but the ball wasn't, that is the most important thing.
"I am happy to keep it out and had they have scored then it would have been a real kick in the teeth because the minimum we deserved, I think, was a point.
"The man of the match went to Ben Foster so I think that in itself tells its own story.
"We just couldn't get that all important goal and had we done that we'd have got the three points.
"But we've struggled in parts of the season to get goals.
"We created a lot of chances and it wasn't for not creating chances.
"We had a lot of chances and just couldn't find the back of the net and that was the disappointing thing."
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