Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert has given assistant manager Roy Keane his full backing over his controversial book and recent comments which cast some doubt over his future at the midlands club.
The former Manchester United and Republic of Ireland captain has been in the headlines for the past week following the release of his second autobiography.
The notoriously forthright Keane covered a range of controversial topics both in the book and in interviews promoting it, ranging from his old manager Alex Ferguson to Jose Mourinho’s recent conduct when Villa played Chelsea.
Villa fans will be more interested in Keane’s promise that he would quit the club if he felt it affected his ’primary’ role as Martin O’Neill’s number two with Ireland, saying he would leave if the Republic lost three games in a row.
Lambert has downplayed those comments, however.
“I think that’s been blown well out of proportion,” he said.
“I don’t see Ireland losing three games anyway, so I don’t think I need to worry about that.
“It made me laugh when I saw what some people were saying about his comments. I knew a lot of what was going in the book so there’s no problem. None whatsoever.”
The Scot has yet to read the book but has enjoyed conversations with his assistant about the content.
“He did tell me some stuff that was going in the book,” Lambert said. “It made me laugh. Listen, the two of us had a right good laugh about it, along with the other staff members. We still do. There’s no issue with me at all. But that comment (about Ireland) has been blown well out of proportion.
“As I said, Ireland have just taken a point from the world champions so I don’t see them losing three in a row anyway.”
Keane pulled no punches about Mourinho’s alleged lack of respect by trying to shake hands with he and Lambert before the end of Chelsea’s recent 3-0 win at Stamford Bridge. And Lambert agrees completely with his colleague.
“Yeah I do (think it was disrespectful), yeah,” he said.
“My thoughts are exactly the same as Roy’s on them. The game has not even finished. I don’t think it was right.
“No, I didn’t speak to (Mourinho) about it.
“I just thought it was wrong. It’s not the way I was brought up. I just think it was wrong.”
Lambert revealed England midfielder Fabian Delph is doubtful for Saturday’s Barclays Premier League clash at Everton with a shoulder injury.