Keane paying his dues at Villa


Soccer:Robbie Keane insists the respect and gratitude he feels towards former club Wolves meant he was never going to celebrate after his two-goal blast earned Aston Villa victory at Molineux. The Republic of Ireland captain’s second-half double enabled Villa to triumph 3-2 as the on-loan striker marked his full debut with two superb strikes.

But even the boos directed towards him by some Wolves fans did not tempt Keane to show any disrespect towards the club where he started his career. Keane said: “I had wonderful times at Wolves and they are a club that looked after me as a kid.

“I’ll never forget, they did so much for me. I’ve got a lot of friends at the club still and it’s always great to come back. “I’ll never celebrate if I score against them. I never celebrate when I score against any of my former clubs out of respect.

“But you have to be professional, do the job for the team that you are with, and that’s Aston Villa. You have to put everything to one side and concentrate on your own job.”

Keane looked sharp in his first start since the conclusion of the Major League Soccer campaign. He said: “I feel good, I feel sharp, this was my first game since December 7th. I’ve felt good the last few weeks in training. I’m feeling sharper and sharper and you saw that against Wolves.

“As a striker, I’m judged on goals. But the most important thing is the three points for the team and helping the team push up the league. I’m only here for a short time so if I can help in any way possible, then great.”

Villa manager Alex McLeish said: “Somehow I had to get Robbie into the team. I said that to him last week. I said ‘train well this week and I’m seriously thinking about you’. After what happened at Wolves, he picks himself.

“Robbie is a proud man and whoever he plays for, he’ll do his best for that team. He has got a lot of affection for Wolves but right now he is a Villa player and he showed how passionate he is about the game and how much it meant to him with two cracking goals.”