Smith reveals the truth about half-time talk with ‘frustrated’ Grealish

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith has revealed the truth about what he said to Jack Grealish during half-time of Friday’s Championship clash with Bolton Wanderers, admitting the player can become “frustrated” when he isn’t in possession a lot.

Grealish scored one goal and assisted another as the Midlands outfit earned a 2-0 win over Bolton at Villa Park. The 23-year-old has been inconsistent at times this season and doesn’t rack up the goals and assists in games that a playmaker of his ability should. However, he was in top form on Friday.

Making runs in behind the defence and pulling the Bolton players out of position, Grealish showed exactly why there’s still a lot of Premier League hype surrounding his name. His manager believes he’s starting to listen to instruction to become more ruthless in terms of scoring and resorted to showing clips at half-time to get his point across.

As per Birmingham Live, Smith said: “We spoke about it (playing deep) at half time. I showed him three clips at half-time. He causes the opposition problems when he goes into that little pocket of space that the right-back doesn’t want to go into and the centre-half doesn’t want to go into.

“Jack gets frustrated and he wants to come and get on the ball. I’ve told him to be patient and to let the other lads find him. He did it better today. There are times when he comes a little bit too short and it’s easy to defend.”

Grealish has made 127 appearances in all competitions, scoring and creating 27 goals. He’s improved in the Championship, however, contributing 10 goals in 31 games in 2016/17 and eight goals in 27 last season.

For a player who can ghost past defenders with ease, there’s still a lot more to Grealish’s game that fans aren’t seeing consistently enough. Smith is determined to bring that ruthless side out of him.

Stats from Transfermarkt.