Former Aston Villa star Lee Hendrie has revealed the advice he gave to Jack Grealish that he hopes will spur him on to even greater things.
Grealish has become the heartbeat of the Villa side. Save for a loan stint at Notts County, the Birmingham-born midfielder has spent his entire career at Villa Park. Having made his debut in 2014, the talented schemer has made 209 appearances in all competitions. He has bagged 32 goals and been capped five times by England.
Villa boss Dean Smith has been robbed of Grealish’s services since February due to injury. He was due to return in April but faces a few more weeks on the sidelines after an injury setback.
Hopes are high that he will be back before the end of the season, with Euro 2020 on the horizon. Grealish has, at times, struggled to cope with the fact he is under constant scrutiny.
He has fallen below the standards required on a few occasions in the past. But it has not affected his performances and he remains vital to the West Midlanders’ cause.
The best may yet to be seen and Hendrie has urged the 25-year-old to embrace his status at the club.
“I spoke to Jack when we were away and I just said to him, you know, ‘don’t ever be fazed when you’re on that block,” the 43-year-old told Football FanCast. “You’re there to be the main man’.
“He’s pretty much shown that he is the main man at the club. It’s now about making him an even better player.”
Smith admits Grealish mistakes
Villa are comfortably in mid table and have no relegation fears this season. Qualifying for Europe is an outside bet but they will keep plugging away for the remaining eight games.
Having Grealish back in the ranks would have been key but he may be out of action until early May. Smith is not too concerned about the problem but confessed that he probably came back a bit too soon.
“We know it’s not a long term injury, we probably pushed him back a little bit too quickly,” he said.
One positive for Grealish’s recovery if the fact the Villans do not play again until April 21. It will give the forward another week to work on his fitness before the task of taking on Manchester City.