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Lambert delivers blast at 'poisonous' Keane claim

ASTON Villa boss Paul Lambert has come to the defence of his former assistant Roy Keane and has denied claims that there was a "poisonous" atmosphere at the club due to Keane's presence.

Keane left his post as Lambert's No. 2 last month but a weekend report which claimed that players were glad to see the back of Keane has angered Lambert, who is under more pressure after Villa's defeat to West Brom in their local derby on Saturday.

"There were no issues whatsoever," said Lambert after the Hawthorns defeat.

"I spoke to Roy this morning and had a chat last night as well. The guy is run off his feet with his Irish commitments and I respected that. It is absolute nonsense what has been written about him.

"I find it bizarre because Roy was great for me, great for everybody at the football club. So I have nothing but thanks for Roy for coming in. There weren't any bad words on anything.

"That is the disappointing thing, to read a headline whereby people said there was a poisonous atmosphere here when Roy was here. That is laughable," added Lambert.Meanwhile, Baggies boss Alan Irvine admitted his relief after Craig Gardner's first goal for the club gave West Brom that 1-0 win over Lambert's Vila side at the Hawthorns.

Irvine had been under pressure after just one win in nine Barclays Premier League games and admitted victory was huge."Relief is one of the emotions," he said, with Albion up to 14th on Saturday. "Obviously I'm delighted first of all. We probably deserved to win some of the other games recently.

"We're always looking for more, but I felt as long as we made the right decisions and kept patient the chances would come.

"I thought the crowd were fantastic and it didn't surprise me to be honest. I've not been involved in this derby before, but I've been involved in enough to know the place would be bouncing. The fans were great and right behind us all the way, but like the rest of us they got anxious towards the end," added Irvine after the win