Tuesday 24 October 2017

Lambert full of praise for Dunne and 'really top keeper' Given

Paul Lambert hopes he can get his Aston Villa team to 'play to their strengths'
Paul Lambert hopes he can get his Aston Villa team to 'play to their strengths'
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

ASTON VILLA's new manager Paul Lambert has hailed Shay Given and Richard Dunne.

And while the Scot acknowledged the pair's Euro 2012 difficulties, he said he expects his experienced Irish duo to form a key part of his defensive set-up.

Lambert, who replaced Alex McLeish last month, has set about rebuilding the team that flirted with relegation last season.

Given and Dunne will join up with their team-mates on Monday when Villa depart for their pre-season tour of the USA. Although he has yet to work with the duo, Lambert has spoken to both Dunne and Given.

"They're two experienced lads -- they've been round the course before," he said. "I spoke to the two of them during the Euros. It was a hard tournament for them, but they've done great for Villa and had fantastic careers.

"Once I see them, I'll have another chat with them."

Criticism

Given came in for criticism for his displays in Poland, and Lambert has indicated that Brad Guzan will be given an opportunity to stake his claim for the No 1 jersey, but he has also backed the 36-year-old Donegal man to bounce back from his Euro disappointment.

"Shay's had a brilliant career -- he's a really top goalkeeper," said Lambert. "It's easy to criticise a 'keeper when a ball goes into the net, but they need help."

Meanwhile, Paddy Kenny has completed his move to Leeds United from Queens Park Rangers. The 34-year-old has re-united with old boss Neil Warnock, with whom he worked at Bury, Sheffield United and QPR, by penning a three-year deal.

Adel Taarabt is pleased to have signed a new four-year deal at QPR so that speculation over his future and his relationship with Joey Barton can be put to bed.

Reports emanated suggesting the Moroccan would refuse to play alongside Barton. But Taarabt yesterday rubbished talk of a fall-out with the former QPR captain.

"I don't know where this came from because I never said that," he said. "When I saw that, I called Joey and told him it was not true. I don't have a problem with Joey Barton."

Irish Independent

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