Roy Keane smiles! Aston Villa assistant boss hugged by Mascot Bella the Lion

Manchester United legend made his first appearance in the Villa Park dugout

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The Independent Football

Roy Keane's reputation as a hardman precedes him, but it didn't stop brave Aston Villa mascot Bella the Lion from introducing herself to the club's new assistant boss.

The Manchester United legend was in the Villa Park dugout for the first time as his new club took on Parma in a pre-season friendly.

Much to the delight of Villa staff and players, the club's mascot Bella launched herself at Keane for a cuddle and the 43-year-old couldn't resist a smile.

Paul Lambert's team eventually drew 0-0 with the Italian club.

Keane, returning to the Premier League after a six-year absence, will combine his Villa duties with his job as assistant of the Republic of Ireland national team.

Keane was in the Villa Park dugout for the first time

Aston Villa have so far brought in six players during this transfer window with Philippe Senderos, Joe Cole, Kieran Richardson, Aly Cissokho, Isaac Nehemie and Tom Leggett joining the club.

They kick off their Premier League campaign away to Stoke City on Saturday.