Given happy to have Keane on board

Last updated : 20 January 2012

Goalkeeper Given feels it is important for his Republic of Ireland team-mate Keane to gain his sharpness ahead of the Euro 2012 finals and he appeared as a substitute against Everton last weekend.

He said: "I am delighted Robbie is here at Villa. He is a big personality and a big game player. He has showed in training how big a player he is as well and got his first taste of action last weekend. He has given the changing room a big lift and given the manager (Alex McLeish) a headache now to get him in the team."

He added: "When you sign a player of his calibre it gives the whole dressing room a lift.

"It also gives everyone a kick up the backside, that he is breathing over their shoulder, or pushing the manager for a start himself."

Given knows how crucial Keane will be to his country's hopes of success in Poland and Ukraine this summer.

He said: "I know Robbie well and he will want to start a few games to get his match sharpness up for Ireland as well.

"It is important Robbie is in the fold here because we have a big summer coming up.

"We also saw with Thierry Henry last week against Leeds in the FA Cup that fairytales do come true sometimes. It would be amazing if he could score on Saturday, especially with it being a big derby at Molineux where it all started for Robbie.

"But I am sure he would just want us to get three points."

Source: PA

Source: PA

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