Date: 24th February 2012 at 4:37pm
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Following the words of praise thrown in the direction of Robbie Keane by Gary Gardner especially (and others), the Irishman has returned the favour.

Speaking to the Official Site before he departs for LA following the Wigan game, Keane took time out to talk about our current batch of youngsters and he’s said he believes the fans should be very positive about the work the Academy does and the players that are now in the first team fold.

Believe me Robbie, we are. We just need a manager who keeps faith with them, plays them in the right positions blah blah blah – yeah gets old doesn’t it.

Anyhoo, Keane picked out the obvious Mr’s Gardner, Albrighton, Bannan and Clark as having bright futures ahead of them:

‘Gary has obviously got a bright future. I’ve been very impressed with him, there’s also Barry, Ciaran and Marc – these are young players who have a bright future ahead of them. Villa have been renowned for their academy system, they have always produced good players – that’s a compliment to the coaching staff.’

After Gardner gushed the praise the other day, Keane added:

‘Gards is a young kid, he’s only 19, he’s got everything in front of him.’

Again one bright spark amongst few, like last season, is the further progression of the youngsters. They’ll have learnt a lot over the past two years (admittedly Gardner only this year) but it does leave hope for next season as the time they really stamp their mark on the club.

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