Richardson recalls how Keane’s advice inspired him

Roy Keane’s man- management skills may have been questioned in the past but according to Kieran Richardson they couldn’t be better.

Richardson has linked-up with Keane for the third time in his career after moving to Aston Villa from Fulham earlier this month.

Having played alongside Keane at Manchester United, he played for him at Sunderland and now has the Republic of Ireland number two as the assistant manager at Villa Park.

It was while he was at Sunderland when he was sidelined by a hairline fracture of his spine, that Richardson really appreciated the backing of Keane.

“That season when I signed for Sunderland I think I only played 10 games because I had a hairline fracture in the L5 vertebrae in my spine,” he said.

“Throughout that season I was very upset, I put on a lot of weight and I got bigger. But just before the end of that season, Roy took me into his office and we had a massive conversation. He inspired me to go away in the summer and come back in better shape than I had ever been in.

“I went and played very well in the next season. He gave me some good words of encouragement to go and do that over the summer and I appreciate that.”

And Keane hasn’t taken long to make his presence felt at Aston Villa with defender Jores Okore revealing Keane has already made an immediate impact at their Bodymoor Heath training ground.

“He’s talking to everyone, trying to get to know us,” Okore said.

“Hopefully it will be a great appointment. His football experience is vast. He has been through a lot, played in a lot of games and knows what football is all about.

“He’s a leader and knows what to do to motivate us. Hopefully he can really bring something extra to the table to get us to pay at the highest level.

“He’s been a manager and coach before so we think he’ll bring a lot of good things.”


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