Assistant manager Roy Keane has left Aston Villa with immediate effect.
The 43-year-old Irishman confessed that he had been struggling to combine his position with the Premier League club with the job he holds with the Republic of Ireland; Keane was hired as Martin O’Neill’s number two in November 2013.
“Ultimately, my roles with Villa and Ireland, and combining to these, has become too much,” Keane 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.”
Aston Villa have not won a match in nine Premier League games and are preparing to face Burnley tomorrow at Turf Moor. The Birmingham club is currently just two points off the relegation zone and are hoping to take maximum points against the home side who sit nineteenth on the table. Sean Dyche’s side have been playing well recently, winning their past two Premier League fixtures against Hull and Stoke.
Manager Paul Lambert informed the media that he would try to fill the void left by Keane “as soon as practically possible”, and complimented the 43-year-old Cork native for his efforts while working for Aston Villa.
“Roy came to me this morning and he informed me that, ultimately, the difficulty combining both roles has prompted his decision, which I respect totally,” Lambert said.
“In the brief period we have worked together he has been great in the role and I understand his reason for leaving.”
The former Manchester United captain joined Lambert’s staff in July, after the previous backroom staff had been sacked following an internal club investigation.
Assistant manager Ian Culverhouse and head of football operations Gary Karsa departed at the end of last season following an inquiry into off-field issues. At the time, Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner referred to ‘unexpected issues that could have very easily set the club back’.