Given: Keane being at Villa 'made a difference' for me

Aston Villa

Aston Villa goalkeeper Shay Given has stressed the impact Roy Keane had on him, when he was at the club.

Aston Villa goalkeeper Shay Given has told the Daily Mail that the presence of Roy Keane at the club made a real difference to him personally.

Given was locked in a continuous battle against Brad Guzan for the number one spot at Villa Park last season, which created doubt over his club and international future.

However, former Villa assistant Keane appears to have noticed the warning signs in relation to Given’s mentality, stepping in to make sure one of the club’s most important players wasn’t too badly affected.

“I think Roy being at Villa, watching me in training, made a difference. He spoke to me a couple of times about it and he had Martin O'Neill's ear, too,” he said.

Given has always shown remarkable maturity whenever his position has come under threat regardless of the level.

Unfortunately for the experienced shot stopper, his club season didn’t end well with Villa thrashed in the FA Cup final at the hands of Arsenal.

However, he will be a key figure for the club looking ahead to next season, with Tim Sherwood likely to be keen that the mistakes of the past don’t repeat themselves.

It will be a very big season for Given because with his contract due to expire this time next year, he’ll be playing for an extended deal if he’s not planning to retire.

That guidance from Keane seems to have got him back on track and he now needs to cash in and place Guzan under real pressure over the course of pre-season.

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