| 21.1°C Dublin

Keane to push Villa on - Given

FIT-AGAIN 'keeper Shay Given believes Aston Villa will reap the benefits from Republic of Ireland team-mate Robbie Keane.

Keane's move to Villa for two months on loan from Los Angeles Galaxy is expected to be completed in the next 24 hours and in time for him to be considered for Saturday's clash with Everton, who will have Galaxy team-mate Landon Donovan in their squad.

Given, who is back in training after his five week lay-off with a hamstring injury, is confident Keane can still be a threat at Premier League level. He said: "It's great for Villa to secure a player of Robbie's calibre, even in the short term. I didn't know how fit he was before the last couple of days in training but he looks really sharp.

"We're all delighted that he's here and I think he's just given the whole dressing room a lift.

"He's a big personality and he's a big-game player. Even in training, the lads have been very impressed with what they've seen."

Given added: "Some of the young lads here can learn from a guy like Robbie Keane. It's fantastic for them. I think the younger players will look up to him and learn from him. I also think he will cause Premier League defences plenty of problems when given a chance to play.

"If you give him a chance, then nine times out of 10 he'll take it."


Given admits he faces a fight to regain his place after the form shown by his deputy, Brad Guzan, since he suffered the hamstring injury against Manchester United in early December.

He said: "I don't know what the manager's thoughts are, whether I will be in the squad to face Everton or not.

"I want to try and get back in as soon as I can and hopefully it will happen on Saturday.

"But every player has to fight for his place, however, and Brad has done a great job in my absence.

"For me, it's been a frustrating time not to have been playing over the past few weeks. But I'm glad to be back out on the training pitch and I'm glad to be working to be match fit again.

"The hamstring feels great. I haven't had a hamstring problem in my life so it's a bit new to me, to be honest.

"I've recovered really well and had lots of good treatment, and I don't feel anything now. I just need to sharpen up."