Shay Given admits he feels wanted at Aston Villa again as he prepares to complete a remarkable turnaround in his career.

The keeper celebrates his 39th birthday on Monday and will start against Liverpool in Sunday's FA Cup semi final.

He has made just two league appearances for Villa since 2012 having lost his place to Brad Guzan under ex-boss Paul Lambert.

Given has been the side's keeper for the cup competitions and Tim Sherwood will keep faith with him at Wembley.

Last season he failed to make an appearance for Villa and was loaned out to Middlesbrough - before aiding Lambert in the dugout after the exits of coaches Gary Karsa and Ian Culverhouse.

And Sunday's significance is not lost on Given.

He said: "It's a bit of a turnaround for me personally, it's nice to feel wanted as a player. It's been tough and there have been some dark days but this cup run has done me good.

"Every player wants to feel the club wants you and the manager to put his arm around you. I'm counting down the sleeps.

"It's my birthday on Monday so it would be nice to have an early present but in football fairytales don't always come true.

"I'm not thinking about last year, I'm thinking about this week. We're all excited and looking forward to the game.

"It's a great occasion for the club and fans but we don't want to be remembered for a great day out. We want to get to the final."

Villa boss Sherwood was captain of the Blackburn team when a 19-year-old Given made his league debut in a 1-0 defeat at Wimbledon in 1996.

And while Given jokes he has tried to use their past to earn a recall in the Barclays Premier League he knows Sherwood will only be won over by performances.

"I've tried to bribe him a bit, he has a job to do and it's up to me to push Brad as best I can," he said.

"I was 19 at the time. It was a bit of a daunting thing for a 19-year-old to play against the Crazy Gang with the stereo blasting through the walls.

"He helped me and hopefully my experience can help some of the team and keep their feet and heads clear for what's to come."

Villa are without the suspended Carlos Sanchez while Gabby Agbonlahor will be assessed as he battles a hamstring injury and Alan Hutton is out with an ankle problem.

Given won the FA Cup in 2011 with Manchester City - although was an unused substitute when they beat Stoke 1-0.

And when he steps out at Wembley against the Reds he will hope it is just the start of his rebirth.

He said: "I still think I've got a lot to offer, you work hard behind the scenes but a lot of people haven't seen much of me in the last couple of years.

"I want to keep it going and give the manager a bit of a headache. I don't think my Premier League days are over."