Villa boss: ‘Grealish is all heart’

By Phil Jennings

DEAN Smith says he does not care about Jack Grealish’s ‘heart throb’ lifestyle – as long as he delivers for Villa.

The Villa boss accepts his skipper turns the ladies’ heads and has a swagger that is tailor made for the Premier League.

But Smith also insists Grealish is putting the hours in behind the scenes to turn himself into a top flight star.

Grealish is set to return to Villa Park on Saturday as a Premier League player.

And he says he is the ideal captain – making pals with his team-mates and setting an example towards the players.

That was not always the case with the teenage Grealish – but Smith has seen the midfielder’s determination at close quarters.

The Villa boss told reporters: “I felt Jack looked like a Premier League player playing in the Championship last year.

“You just have to look at his legs now – and I am sure there are probably a lot of girls out there who are looking at them – but as a Head Coach he looks like an athlete.

“He’s got power in his calfs, he’s got power in his glutes and he’s got power in his thighs. With that, comes power and I think he’s got quicker as a player and looks at home.

“The persona that’s around him. I don’t really pay much attention to. It’s what he does when he comes into this training ground and when leaves this training ground. I know for a fact how professional and how driven this lad is now.

“I saw it for myself on Tuesday when I came to watch the Villa women training at 8pm and he was still in the gym. It just shows – we’d trained at Villa Park in the morning and he’d gone back home, had a sleep and then felt he needed to come in and do his usual gym session.

“So he was back here at 8pm on a Tuesday evening which shows me how he has matured and how driven he is to become a top performer this season. “

Grealish made a rare mistake at Tottenham last Saturday that led to Harry Kane scoring.

But Smith said: “He was as gutted as anybody that he got robbed for the second goal. But it didn’t stop him getting on the ball. There were a number of times when he got on the ball in our penalty box and carried the ball out – unfortunately on one of them he got caught, we got punished and they scored.”

Smith admits though that some things have been lost in translation with some of Villa’s new signings.

The Villa head coach added: “Jack seems to have a good relationship with all the players already. Big Wesley actually said to me: ‘Is he your son?’ So Wes’s English is certainly getting better.”

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