Aston Villa boss Lambert plays down Keane-Cleverley row

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert has downplayed reports of a row between his former assistant Roy Keane and on-loan Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley, according to ESPN.

It was claimed in the Press that Keane accused Cleverley of leaking stories to the media and went to the player’s house in an effort to confront him over the issue. Lambert admitted that Keane did visit Cleverley but rejected claims that he ‘rang the doorbell for 15 minutes.’

“I spoke to Tom this morning really briefly and he assures me that what is being portrayed is certainly not what happened,” Lambert said. “That was it really.”

Keane recently left his post as Villa assistant in order to concentrate on his duties as Martin O’Neill’s assistant with the Republic of Ireland national team, Lambert lamenting the focus that remains on the former Manchester United midfielder and his time at Villa Park. “I’ve probably spoken about Roy more since he’s left than when he was here. I think you [should] give the guy a break,” the ex-Norwich City boss said.

“From the brief chat I had with Tom, it certainly wasn’t how it was portrayed,” Lambert continued. “That was what Tom told me this morning. I spoke to Roy. We’re good pals – not just in this regard but we’re good pals in general – and that will always be the same.

“Roy’s obviously got his Ireland role to contend with and work on, trying to qualify for Euro 2016. There’s no problem on that side. He’s my pal. I spoke to Tom and the matter is finished.”

Villa, who play United this weekend, are 13th in the Premier League table, five points above the bottom three and 12 points adrift of Louis van Gaal’s third-place visitors.

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