Aston Villa manager Lambert praises Keane impact

Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert has hailed the impact of his assistant Roy Keane, who joined the club in July, Sky Sports has reported.

The former Manchester United captain and Premier League winner is sharing his job at Villa Park with his duties for the Republic of Ireland national team, where he is No. 2 to Martin O’Neill.

His arrival has coincided with Villa making a strong start, despite being among the favourites for relegation before a ball was kicked. After finishing 15th in the previous two seasons, the West Midlands side have started with 10 points out of a possible 12 this time around, conceding just the one goal.

They now take on Arsenal on Saturday knowing that victory would take them – at least temporarily – to the top of the Premier League, and Lambert has given Keane much of the credit for the team’s strong start. He said: “The two of us are really strong characters. I knew he had a lot of football knowledge that was unfairly tarnished. His knowledge meant he was too good to be a TV pundit. To get him back in the game was great.

“He’s been great around the place, with the staff and the lads. He likes a laugh as well. I don’t think he’s the big bad guy out there that. He’s somebody I know I can rely on. I never had any doubts. He was the first port of call when I knew I had to get somebody in.”

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