Thursday 8 December 2016

McLeish desperate for Keane to make instant impact on Villa fortunes

John Curtis

Published 14/01/2012 | 05:00

Alex McLeish is hoping the signing of striker Robbie Keane can act as an inspiration to the other Aston Villa players ahead of today's home Premier League clash with Everton.

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Keane is included in the Villa squad after signing on loan from LA Galaxy until the end of February. Manager McLeish is refusing to reveal whether the Republic of Ireland international will start, but has no doubt he will have a positive influence at Villa.

"In terms of the impact, Robbie will have a great effect. His experience and knowledge in the dressing-room should be worth its weight in gold," he said.

"In my playing career, bringing players into a club of that ilk was a case of not only looking for individuals to do well, but looking for others to be inspired.

"Hopefully, Robbie can push others to play their best football and I also think there's no bigger threat than someone coming in to take your place.

"I am sure the fans will enjoy seeing Robbie in a Villa jersey. We will just have to wait and see when that is. Robbie could make his debut, but I am not going to reveal my starting line-up at the moment."

McLeish will hope Keane can help Villa put an end to a run of four successive home defeats if he is involved against the Toffees.

"Desperate is a word I don't like to use but the home form certainly is something we want to put right. We have lost to three of the elite clubs and Swansea beat us after we got a great result at Chelsea which was a real kick in the backside," he said.

"It's up to us. I do feel we have been punished for every little mistake at home. But the one thing we have to concentrate on is concentration. We have to concentrate from start to finish as we did against Stoke, Arsenal and Chelsea."

McLeish admits he is unlikely to add further to his squad during January unless players head out of the club. He said: "It's a case of keeping and steering the ship in the right direction in terms of the wages. We have a clear vision through Randy Lerner (club owner) and Paul Faulkner (chief executive) that we have to manage the wages.

"We are still steering that course. There's no way we will add to the wages unless some of the wages are offloaded. I am not in any hurry to lose any of my players. Only if it was an attractive proposition would we do anything, so it's very unlikely we would let any of our players go."

Irish Independent

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