Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish is delighted with his ex-Manchester City players.

The Villa boss thinks City's loss is his gain with Republic of Ireland pair Shay Given and Richard Dunne.

McLeish signed Given for just £3.5million in the summer and the keeper has already begun repaying his faith with some impressive displays.

The Scot said: "It was a tremendous deal. In the past I've missed out on players to make my teams better but this one we were in the right place at the right time.

"He's such a cool character - experience in terms of a goalkeeper is so vital. He is so calm and you can see he gives that to the team."

McLeish admits he was surprised that no other big team came in for Given and also reserved praise for Dunne.

The Irish pals helped their country into the play-offs for Euro 2012 and have been drawn against Estonia.

McLeish said: "Richard and Shay are on top of the world.

"Dunne's a great player, he's a very experienced centre-back and it's really about players being comfortable in their heads. If their heads aren't right, you can have the best player in the world and they will never kick a ball for you."