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Cuellar: Let's thank Keane with a winning send-off in Wigan clash
Carlos Cuellar pays tribute to Robbie Keane ahead of the on-loan star's farewell appearance.
21st Feb 2012
Cuellar: Let's thank Keane with a winning send-off in Wigan clash


By Dan Harrison

Carlos Cuellar is planning a winning send-off for Robbie Keane at Wigan on Saturday - as the on-loan LA Galaxy star gets set for his farewell Villa appearance.

Despite making just six appearances since joining on a temporary basis from the MLS champions, Keane has become a popular figure among players and supporters at Villa.

The Republic of Ireland striker has scored three times during his loan spell and earned the man-of-the-match award for his display in the 2-2 draw against QPR.

Cuellar wants to give him the perfect parting gift - a Barclays Premier League victory against Roberto Martinez's men.

"We need to say to him thank you for your performances," said the Spaniard.

"It is really a sad to lose him because he is playing so well and he has been very important for us.

"But we will try to win for him as well as for ourselves."

Cuellar hailed the impact Keane has had on Alex McLeish's squad, insisting his presence has caused other players to raise their game.

But he is confident that Villa have the talent to fill the void left by the former Tottenham and Liverpool forward.

"It has been good because he is an experienced player with good technique and you really have to concentrate to play against him," added Cuellar.

"It makes you up your performance. He is very clever and he is a great finisher too.

"He has been a big help for us because he has scored goals and his movement between the lines has been excellent.

"But we had players who have been doing the same job before.

"If we had a choice we would prefer him to stay than go back.

"But we have got players who can come in and step up."

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