By Graham Hill
JACK Grealish hailed Jed Steer as an unsung hero after the Villa goalkeeper’s penalty shoot out heroics earned his side a return to Wembley.
Steer not only saved two penalties to all but end Albion’s hopes early on – but he was also spotted psyching out the Baggies’ first penalty taker Mason Holgate as he stepped up to the spot.
The Villa keeper stared him out, then produced a superb display between the sticks to put Dean Smith’s side firmly in the driving seat.
It was just reward for Steer who has been at Villa for six years after being signed on a free from Norwich City by ex-manager Paul Lambert.
Steer was on loan at Charlton before being recalled when Norway keeper Orjan Nyland was ruled out for the season.
And Grealish knows just how much time Steer has put in to his time at Villa Park.
Grealish tweeted: “Shoutout to this guy for last night! Finally got his chance this season and grabbed it with both hands!
“One of the hardest working pros I’ve ever seen and now getting the recognition and credit he deserves! One last push now boys!”
Grealish has been confident for some time that Villa have what it takes to win promotion at Wembley after missing out to Fulham last season.
One of the telling shots at the final whistle 12 months ago was the then skipper John Terry having a private word with Grealish.
Now Terry is Grealish’s coach and the Villa captain is refusing to back down on his belief that Villa can go one better this time.
It is Villa’s only chance of holding on to the influential midfielder with Tottenham poised to bid again for Grealish after failing to land him last season.
Grealish told Talksport: “I couldn’t put into to words what it would mean to me and my family, if I could walk up those steps and lift the trophy that takes us back to the Premier League.”