Saturday 24 March 2018

Grealish realises error - Sherwood

Jack Grealish, right, is looking to move on from his recent bad publicity
Jack Grealish, right, is looking to move on from his recent bad publicity

Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood says Jack Grealish feels "very ashamed" over his nitrous oxide picture and has urged the midfielder to move on as he looks to aid the club's relegation fight.

Grealish will be in the squad for Saturday's trip to Manchester City and is likely to start after his starring role in Sunday's 2-1 FA Cup semi-final victory over Liverpool.

Sherwood spoke to the 19-year-old on Thursday after a picture - taken over a year ago - emerged of him inhaling the legal high, but now wants Grealish to focus on his game, with Villa four points above the bottom three in the Barclays Premier League.

"He was very ashamed and does not like the bad publicity," he said. "He's assured me that won't happen again. He did not come in here with the 'I'm only young, I'm allowed to get away with it' attitude.

"He's hurting but he needs to stop hurting. He realises he is in a responsible position now. Perhaps a year ago when the photo was taken no-one wanted to know Jack Grealish, but now he realises people have taken an awful lot of notice now.

"And he wanted that. If you're a professional footballer you want to be noticed. But he needs to get on the other side of the paper.

"I want him to forget about this by (Friday). I don't want him to dwell on it. It only really affects me if I let it affect him in on the pitch."

Grealish made just his fifth senior start for Villa in their Wembley win and Sherwood believes he is still flourishing despite the controversy.

"I think Jack has benefited from the way I looked at some players at Tottenham. Looking back I wish I had thrown them in a bit earlier," he said.

"The circumstances probably dictated that here. I thought 'why not? Let's throw the dice. Let's get him in there'. He's not let anyone down.

"It's nothing personal - I'm not on a crusade to play every young kid who is at the football club. It's just I think if they can do a job better than someone else then they will play."

Meanwhile, Sherwood confirmed he will address Tom Cleverley's future at the end of the season, with the Manchester United loanee available on a free transfer.

He added: "Tom would only want to do that as well. He only wants to come to the Premier League. He will have an opportunity to go elsewhere but we need to make sure, if I want to keep him, we try everything possible to do that.

"It looks a mile away at the moment. It's not my priority and I'm sure it's not Tom's."

Press Association

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