sport

Richardson: Keane inspired me

Kieran Richardson is delighted to be working with Roy Keane again, with the Irishman having 'inspired' him at Sunderland.

The 29-year-old moved to Aston Villa as a free agent over the summer after reaching the end of his contract at Fulham.

He has been given the opportunity to benefit from Keane's expertise once more at Villa Park, with the former Manchester United midfielder operating as Paul Lambert's assistant.

Richardson credits Keane with having helped to save his career back in 2007/08, when a serious back injury led to him piling on the pounds.

Important words of advice helped to get him back on track and Richardson will be forever grateful for that 'massive conversation'.

Richardson said: "That season when I signed for Sunderland I only played about 10 games because I had a hairline fracture in my spine.

"Throughout that season I was very upset and I put on a lot of weight and I got bigger. But just before the end 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 the following season.

"He gave me some strong words of encouragement to go and do that and I will always appreciate it.

"A lot of people don't know him on a personal level but he definitely has that side to him."