LONDON, November 28- Former Manchester United captain Roy Keane has left his role as assistant manager of Aston Villa with immediate effect, he announced in a statement released by the club on Friday.
The 43-year-old is also currently employed as the assistant to Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill and he explained that juggling the two roles was proving too difficult.
“Ultimately, my roles with Villa and Ireland and combining my commitment to these have become too much,” said Keane, who was employed by Villa in July to provide assistance to manager Paul Lambert.
“It isn’t fair to either Villa or Ireland, so I’ve made this decision. I’d like to thank Paul for giving me a great opportunity to come to a brilliant football club.
“I’ve really enjoyed my experiences at Villa and I wish the management team, the players, the supporters and the club nothing but the best going forward.”
Keane’s announcement follows a period when the outspoken former midfielder has regularly appeared in the news headlines.
He released an explosive autobiography in October and was reportedly involved in an altercation with a member of the public outside the Ireland team hotel earlier this month.
He then snapped at Irish journalists when asked during a press briefing if he felt his behaviour was making him a “distraction” to O’Neill.
But Lambert paid tribute to the former Ireland captain, saying: “Roy came to me this morning and he informed me that, ultimately, the difficulty of combining both roles has prompted his decision, which I respect totally.
“In the brief period we have worked together he has been great in the role and I understand his reasons for leaving.”
Villa chief executive Tom Fox said: “We thank Roy for his time at the club and we wish him the best with Ireland.”
Villa are currently two points above the Premier League’s relegation zone and visit Burnley on Saturday.