herald

Monday 18 December 2017

Keane quits Villa job to concentrate on Ireland

ROY Keane has quit his assistant manager role at Aston Villa saying that continuing in the job "isn't fair to either Villa or Ireland".

Keane was in the job less than four months and had been splitting his time between the club and his job as Martin O'Neill's number two with the Republic of Ireland.

His time at Villa saw the club suffer six losses in a row in recent weeks and it languishes at near the bottom of the premiership table.

Management there, including boss Paul Lambert, and Keane have come under increasing pressure from fans over the dismal string of losses, that ended with a 0-0 draw with West Ham three weeks ago.

Villa announced this morning that the 43-year-old has left the Birmingham-based club with immediate effect.

Keane said he made the decision over the pressure of holding down two jobs.

"Ultimately my roles with Villa and Ireland and combining my commitment to these have become too much," he said.

"It isn't fair to either Villa or Ireland, so I've made this decision.

"I'd like to thank Paul for giving me a great opportunity to come to a brilliant football club,

"I've really enjoyed my experiences at Villa and I wish the management team, the players, the supporters and the club nothing but the best going forward," he added.

He was with Aston Villa for less than four months - having previously being strongly linked to the manager's job at Celtic.

Lambert said that he understood why Keane has quit.

"Roy came to me this morning and he informed me that, ultimately, the difficulty of combining both roles has prompted his decision, which I respect totally," he said.

"In the brief period we have worked together he has been great in the role and I understand his reasons for leaving."

Aston Villa are due to play Burnley tomorrow and currently lie 16th in the premiership, having failed to win a single game in their last eight outings.

Keane took the Villa job in July and said at the time he would have no problem combining both the Villa and Ireland roles.

committed

"I am looking forward to linking up with Paul Lambert at Aston Villa and thank Martin and the FAI for giving me the opportunity to do so," he said.

"I remain totally committed to my job with the Republic of Ireland and all that it involves," he added.

Last month he outlined where his priority lay saying he would give up the Villa role if it interfered with his job with the Irish squad.

He explained that he took the job in consultation with the club, O'Neill and the FAI.

"I felt I could manage to do both. And now I still have my days when I feel that if in the next few months I am taking my eye off the ball then I will leave Aston Villa," he said.

see sport 72

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