Roy Keane puts Ireland ahead of Aston Villa

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Roy Keane, who started his tenure as assistant manager at Villa Park in July, admitted his struggles with juggling his role at Aston Villa with his job as Martin O’Neill’s number two for the Republic of Ireland national team.

Just last month, Keane confessed his prioritising of his Ireland role of Villa, stating that he would surrender his role with the West Midlands outfit should it interfere with his duties with the national team, making it clear that manager Paul Lambert was aware of his stance.

Keane stated if he felt he was “taking his eye off the ball”, he would leave his position at Villa.

“There is no doubt about that. I have told Paul Lambert that, told Martin that and told the
FAI that," he said, as reported by the Birmingham Mail.

Just over a month later, Keane has admitted that committing to both roles had become too difficult a task, and according to a club spokesman, had found it hard to find time for his family in between his roles.

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"Ultimately, my roles with Villa and Ireland and combining my commitment to these have
become too much. It isn't fair to either Villa or Ireland, so I've made this decision," Keane said.

Lambert stated his understanding and respect at Keane’s decision: "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.

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

CEO Tom Fox also extended his gratitude toward Keane for his efforts during his short tenure, as well as  stating his intentions to find an adequate replacement.

"We thank Roy for his time at the Club and we wish him the best with Ireland.

"Our focus now will be on working with Paul to identify the right person to work alongside him and to help us continue on our journey to return the Club to its rightful place in the Premier League."

Having foretold his future actions, some Villa fans will not be surprised at Keane’s departure, while others will be surprised that Lambert wasn’t the first to go as a result of mounting pressure on the Scot.

The Villans are currently enduring a torrid run of form that has seen an encouraging start to the season come undone, winless since the 1-0 victory at Liverpool on September 13.

The 43-year-old has the reputation for being a notorious hard man throughout his playing days into his managerial career, having previously managed Ipswich Town and Sunderland.

With each Villa’s three wins coming at the start of the season, it seemed early on as though his discipline had rubbed off in training and that Villa had finally turned a corner after a constant lack of form in recent seasons.

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Roy Keane
Martin O’Neill
Premier League
Aston Villa

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