JACK LINES UP BLUES CLASH

JACK Grealish already has Birmingham City in his sights as he prepares to help boss Dean Smith kick start Villa’s play-off bid.


Grealish is in line to make his comeback from a three month injury lay-off against Derby today (Saturday).

But it has not escaped the Solihull-born midfielder that the Second City derby is eight days away.

Grealish has missed out on the last two St Andrew’s clashes – and hopes his recovery from a shin injury has come just in time for next weekend.

Smith has still to confirm whether Grealish, 23, will start on the bench or from the kick off.

But the Villa manager told reporters on Friday: “I think that’s another reason for him wanting to get out there as quickly as possible.

“He has mentioned that to me, yes.

“But he’s looking forward, first and foremost, to getting some minutes against Derby.”

Smith knows key man Grealish is straining at the leash to play after being out since January.

He added: “He’s been pushing me for me to feature the last two weeks, to be honest.

“I just said: ‘You’re available for selection.’

“He immediately asked whether he was starting. I said we would have to wait and see.

“It was his first question and I knew it was going to be.

“Then he asked me where he would play in a 4-4-2.

“That’s normal Jack. Sometimes he doesn’t have a filter and he will just tell me what he’s thinking.

“I like it because I can deal with that. He is a nice lad and works really hard.”

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