Image alt text here

Dean Smith: The moment I told Jack Grealish he was captain

Highlights: Watch all the goals – including THAT Grealish stunner - against Derby County Tyrone Mings on Jack Grealish impact and Play-Off chase
Dean Smith: The moment I told Jack Grealish he was captain
View Gallery

Dean Smith has shed light on the moment he told Jack Grealish that he would captain Aston Villa for the first time.

The 23-year-old was skipper for his comeback against Derby County at the weekend, following his three-month lay-off with a shin injury.

The creative spark played a key part in the demolition of the Rams upon his return – having a hand in the opening goal before walloping a volley into the top corner to make it 4-0 before half-time.

And in his post-match interviews, Head Coach Smith lifted the lid on how he broke the big news to Grealish.

He said: “I told him on Friday. We were in the physio room with John McGinn and a couple of the medical staff for an hour and I asked, 'who should be captain?'

GrealishSkipper2

'“They were throwing a few names around, before I said to Jack, 'you're captain tomorrow'.

“He had a big smile on his face and it would have been a proud moment for him because, like myself, he's a Villa fan and was brought up a Villa fan.

"To captain your team and score a goal like he did topped off a great day.”

Expanding on why Grealish had the credentials to step up to the role after three months out, Smith admitted he'd been considering him in a leadership role since joining in October.

He added: "For me, it was quite an easy decision.

"I had no doubts about giving it to Jack. I knew it wouldn't be a burden to him and that he'd relish it – it's his club, he's a Villa fan.

"He's got a long-term contract at the club. When I came in, I said how I wanted him to lead us into the Premier League.

"I think he can do that. He's the future of this football club. He's got a long contract here.

"He's a really good professional as well, and I felt if I didn't give it to him it could be overlooking the leadership qualities I know he has.

"He leads by example anyway in the way he plays. I felt making him captain could enhance those qualities."

Boro Fixture GraphicsEmail Footer

Dan Connor
By @danconnor 4th March 2019