I’ll handle Keane edge, says relaxed Lambert

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert does not see Roy Keane as a threat to his job and says he is strong enough to deal with the considerable presence of the Corkman.

Lambert has welcomed Keane to Villa Park as his assistant but does not see him as a readymade replacement for his job if things go wrong again this season.

“Martin [O’Neill] has taken him on. If you are weak, you might worry about it but Martin is not weak. I am not weak and Roy is certainly not weak,” said Lambert yesterday.

Keane and Lambert formed a friendship as managers of rival East Anglia sides Ipswich Town and Norwich City during Keane’s last spell as manager.

“He’s someone I get on really well with,” said Lambert.

“I have done for a long time and I wouldn’t bring Roy here for the sake of his name.

“I’m bringing him here because he can bring something to the table.”

The pair will share coaching duties at the training ground but Lambert insists Keane ultimately knows his place.

“The manager at any football club has the last say,” said Lambert, who wants to bring the combative former Manchester United midfielder’s winning attitude to Birmingham.

“He was a brilliant footballer who knew how to win games.

“I think people overlook what Roy can bring to the table. He will certainly help me, someone I can lean on. He has a strong presence.

“I knew I had to bring someone in and I knew he was a strong character and I had respect for him as a footballer and what he had done at Sunderland. I know how hard it is to be manager but I knew it was a runner, and I knew we thought pretty similarly and he was the first one who came into my head.

“He will give everything he has got. The guy’s a winner.”

The arrival of Keane means former Ireland goalkeeper Shay Given, who was a temporary member of the Villa coaching staff at the end of last season, will stand down and return to playing.

“Shay wants to continue playing and he will fight with Guzan to get in side,” said the Villa boss.


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