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Gregory Has No Regrets On Keane

John Gregory denied he had made a mistake by not signing Robbie Keane as the young Irishman subjected troubled Aston Villa to another defeat.

The 19-year-old Irishman made City’s first goal and scored their second in the 2-1 home victory – the first for the Sky Blues over their rivals for seven years.

Keane could well have been clad in claret and blue had Gregory decided to up his 5.5 million bid by just 500,000 in the summer but he decided Keane was "not the finished article".

Coventry nipped in and the script was prepared for Keane to embarrass the Villa boss in front of the television cameras.

Gregory said:

"There is nothing I can do about it now – Robbie Keane plays for Coventry. I have no regrets about the decision I made at the time.

"It was a decision I felt I had to make and I can’t change history. Keane has settled in exceptionally well at Coventry – he might not have done so well if he had come to Aston Villa."

But while City contemplate a move into the top half of the table with an eight match unbeaten run, Villa look to be sliding in the opposite direction.

City boss Gordon Strachan refused to be drawn on Gregory’s seemingly perilous state and criticised the focus on the Villa manager.

He said:

"A lot of the build up to this game was about politics and not about the match itself which is what really matters. The players were almost forgotten and certainly reduced to a side issue.

"People said this was a very important game for Aston Villa but I thought it was pretty important for us as well. It was our most important game of the season, because it was the next one. Now that moves on to Leicester on Saturday.

"I thought Cedric Roussel did very well for us. He played well against Watford but we had to adopt a different approach against Bradford and he was left out but he was excellent when he came back from international duty.

"His movement is good and his touch is good for a big man and most of all he just loves playing football."

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The Hare and Hounds, Coventry

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Staying Up by Rick Gekoski

CWN / Sport / Football / Coventry City FC / 23 Nov 99

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This page modified on 10 November 2008 09:49:15AM