By Graham Hill
VILLA boss Dean Smith has urged his English players to go out and force their way into Gareth Southgatae’s plans this season.
Smith believes the likes of Jack Grealish and Tyrone Mings – as well as Kortney Hause, who has represented England at Under-20 level – are ready to step up.
But he insists they have to impress for Villa in the Premier League before they can start thinking of England call-ups.
Grealish has long been tipped to play for England – but Southgate said he would not be picked as long as he was a Championship player – while Mings is now in the sort of form that could also earn recognition for the Three Lions.
Smith told reporters on Thursday: “Gareth Southgate came to a game here last season in the Champioship.
“And knowing he’s looking out at our players can only give them a boost, the players know what an opportunity this is for them.
“First you perform for Vila, then you can put yourself in the shop window at international level.
“We have a number of internationals in the squad already. Hause, Tyrone, Jack Grealish, this gives them the chance to showcase their talent in the top league.”