Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish was full of praise for manager Dean Smith, saying he loves playing under the new boss and has been working hard to take his advice on board. The English u21 international was struggling for consistency under Steve Bruce, but Smith made it clear that he was going to work with Grealish to get the best from him in games.
The new Villa boss wanted to see Grealish get among the goals and make more assists as he spends a lot of time in possession in the final third, and the 23-year-old says he’s adapting his game to do exactly that. He scored and created two goals in Friday’s 2-0 win over Bolton Wanderers and said to the club’s official website that all the hard work is “paying off”.
“I am loving working with (Smith),” he said. “It’s obviously nice for me as well because he’s an Aston Villa fan. His whole family are Aston Villa supporters just like mine. We get on well. I think you can see from what we’re doing that we’re working on certain things on the training pitch that are all paying off.”
Grealish rose from the youth ranks to the Aston Villa first-team in 2013 and has gone on to make 127 appearances in all competitions, scoring and creating 27 goals. He’s made 16 league appearances this season, scoring only once and making two assists. His Bolton performance was a long time coming, and Smith will surely be hoping he can replicate it on a consistent basis.
Stats from Transfermarkt.