sport

Lambert: Keane is key figure

Paul Lambert is enjoying working alongside Roy Keane, a man he sees becoming a key figure at Aston Villa.

Lambert has turned to Keane as his new assistant, with the former Manchester United midfielder combining his Premier League duties with a similar role working with the Republic of Ireland national side.

The 42-year-old has a no-nonsense reputation which has been shaped over the course of a distinguished playing and coaching career.

Lambert is, however, of the opinion that Keane is often misjudged, with it his passion and knowledge of the game that attracted Villa to his services and he has seen them make a positive start to life under a new management team.

The Scot said of his right-hand man: \"I can really trust him. He is a really good football person - a top man. He has been great.

\"People shouldn't get caught up with Roy Keane being this aggressive person.

\"With the career he has had as a footballer - and people forget he had a lot of success as a football manager - what he says is really positive, especially to the young players.

\"If they don't take a leaf out of his book then there is something wrong.

\"If they don't take in some of the things he says, I think there would be something wrong for them as an individual.

\"The good thing about Roy is he will say it as it is.

\"I don't think you can dress something up nicely when it is not.

\"He will give you that honest assessment, but we are here to help everybody.