Given would welcome Lambert appointment at Aston Villa

 

Keeper Shay Given would welcome Paul Lambert's appointment as the new manager of Aston Villa amid speculation that he is in line for the job.

The 36-year-old is currently away in Italy with the Republic of Ireland squad as they prepare for the Euro 2012 finals.

Back at home, the Norwich boss has been heavily linked with the post vacated by Alex McLeish last month with Villa due to meet Lambert's representatives and Given admitted it could only be good news if the Scot does take over at Villa Park.

He said: "If that's the case - I have no idea, because I am stuck in Italy somewhere, about what's going on at Aston Villa - but if Paul was to come in, he would be a great appointment because he is a fantastic manager.

"Since he took the hot-seat at any club he has been at, he has just gone all the way up all the time, so hopefully if they can get that done, that would be great news for the club.

"The sooner the manager is in place for next season - because he will have targets and players he will want to get in himself - the sooner that's done, the better."

Villa finished in a disappointing 16th place in the Barclays Premier League table at the end of last season, just two points and as many places above the relegation zone.

McLeish paid with his job two days after a final day 2-0 defeat at Norwich less than 11 months in the post.

Lambert would be a popular choice amongst supporters with polls in local newspapers favouring the former Livingston, Wycombe and Colchester manager.

That is in stark contrast to the anger at the appointment of former Birmingham boss McLeish last summer.

Villa owner Randy Lerner is hoping it will be a case of third time lucky in terms of finding a successor.

He held talks with former Manchester United star Ole Gunnar Solskjaer but he opted to stay at Molde in Norway for family reasons although he was not formally offered the Villa post.

Villa also spoke with advisors of Wigan boss Roberto Martinez who rejected the chance to replace Gerard Houllier 12 months ago. But Latics boss Dave Whelan claimed Martinez, who held talks with Liverpool, was staying put.

Meanwhile, Given eased international boss Giovanni Trapattoni's fears in Montecatini this morning when he came through his first training session since Monday last week with no ill-effects from the knee injury which prompted a whistle-stop trip to consult a London specialist.

PA

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