Aston Villa's Gary Gardner 'gutted' at Roy Keane's departure

Roy Keane Signing Autographs as Man Utd player

Aston Villa's Gary Gardner tweeted his disappointment at seeing assistant manager Roy Keane leave the club.

Aston Villa midfielder Gary Gardner has taken to Twitter to reveal his disappointment at Roy Keane’s departure from the club.

Keane quit his role as Villa assistant manager with immediate effect this morning, revealing that he was unable to commit to both the Premier League club and the Republic of Ireland, with whom he serves as Martin O’Neill’s number two.

Gardner, 22, hasn’t spent as much time with Keane as the rest of the first-team, having been on loan at Brighton & Hove Albion since August 26, but he was a regular in the line-up during pre-season, when the Manchester United legend was still settling into life at the club.

Having spent just five months at Villa Park, rumours soon began to spread in the hours following Keane’s departure that his exit was linked to a training ground bust-up with a senior member of the squad.

The club have since moved to quash those claims, however, with manager Paul Lambert thanking him for his contributions in a statement published on the team’s official website.

"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."

The news doesn’t appear to have fazed Gardner too much, though, with Brighton loanee later revealing his excitement ahead of the club’s Championship clash against Fulham.

Set to return to Villa on January 1 at present, Seagulls manager Sami Hyypia has since revealed that he is working behind the scenes to get his deal extended until the end of the season.

“We’ve had some talks and I’d very much like if Gary would stay with us until the end of the season,” he said at Friday’s press conference. “With him, I’ve talked already and hopefully we can sort things out.”

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch