Keane’s first start for Villa was a successful one as his two goals helped fire them to a 3-2 victory over local rivals Wolves, moving Villa up to 11th in the Premier League and helping to keep alive their hopes of a top eight finish this season.
While the former Tottenham forward made a brief cameo during Villa’s 1-1 draw against Everton last week, McLeish admitted he would only be starting from now on having convinced the Scot of his fitness and talent in the week leading up to the clash at Molineux.
“Somehow I had to get Robbie into the team and I said that to him last week,” he told Talksport.
“I know that he didn’t get much of a bow in the Everton game and I said, ‘have a good week in training, I’m seriously thinking about you.’ I never make any promises but the way that things unfolded Robbie was a cert, it was a no-brainer to pick him.
He added: “All the players are in good form so it would have been difficult to fit everybody in, but you know that Robbie is here for such a short time that we’ve got to find a way of getting that guy into the team, and after today he picks himself.”
Keane completed his short term switch from MLS outfit L.A Galaxy earlier this month, and while he said he was suffering from ‘itchy feet’ during the American league’s off season, he remained adamant that he did not miss life in the Premier League.
When quizzed whether his brace had made him realise what he was missing, Keane replied: “Not really. It’s not something I’ve really thought about. But I had three or four weeks off. I got itchy feet and wanted to start playing again.'