Saturday 1 October 2016

Hodgson urges Grealish to make up his mind

Published 07/09/2015 | 02:30

Roy Hodgson has been pushing Aston Villa's Jack Grealish for a decision on whether to play for Ireland or England in the Euro 2016 campaign
Roy Hodgson has been pushing Aston Villa's Jack Grealish for a decision on whether to play for Ireland or England in the Euro 2016 campaign

Roy Hodgson has told Jack Grealish to hurry up and make his mind on his international future, hinting that his dithering could cost him a place in England's Euro 2016 squad.

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Grealish is thinking about whether to stick with Ireland or to switch to the country of his birth after meeting with both Hodgson and Martin O'Neill.

The England boss has admitted that he is surprised the teenager is taking so long. "I'm not 100 per cent certain of what he is waiting for," he said.

"I would like him to come out and say, 'I've thought about it, I've got the two possibilities and I'm opting for England' and then he will be available for selection.

"But he has been injured, to be fair, so he wouldn't have been selectable for any team during these September fixtures. Now maybe before the October fixtures he might make that decision."

With England already qualified for France next summer, Hodgson says that the player would have a chance to stake a claim.

"It would be nice if he says yes. Then he would have a year to see if he could knock one or two of these players off their perch," he continued. "That would be pleasant but there is no time limit.

"We think he could have a very good international career. I made it clear to him, 'It's got to be your decision, it's got to be something you really want to do and that feels right'."

Hodgson has ruled out meeting with Grealish's agent to discuss the matter, a contrast from O'Neill who met with the player, his father and his representative last month.

Grealish is represented by the Stellar agency, whose co-founders Jonathan Barnett and David Manasseh have arguably the most high-profile client list of any English football agency.

"Agents speak to club directors and maybe even club managers but as England manager I don't speak to agents," said Hodgson.

"I'm more than happy to speak to the boy and his parents and I'm more than happy to speak to his manager [Tim Sherwood]. But I don't go to meetings where an agent sits there."

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