• News

Smith praises Aston Villa captain Grealish

Getty Images

According to the coach, the influence of the team’s captain was key to lead the club to the English Premier League.

Aston Villa has been promoted to the English Premier League after defeating Derby County 2-1 in the Championship Playoff Final.

And for Villa’s manager Dean Smith, one of the key pieces to achieve promotion was the influence of captain Jack Grealish.

“It probably wasn’t that big within the dressing room,” Smith explained to Sky Sports.

“I think some of the players would have expected it, but I think the perception from outside makes it a lot grander than it probably was.”

“I just felt Jack was ready. He’s a responsible lad and a Villa fan at heart,” he added.

“He’s taken on that responsibility admirably and I think he’s becoming a better player for it.”

He said: “I felt for everybody who was involved last year against Fulham and then the financial worries that they had.”

“There might not have been a football club here.”

“Thankfully we’ve got two owners who didn’t really have an outside interest in Aston Villa who came and rescued the football club,” the manager continued.

“I take a great sense of pride in rewarding them with the day we had yesterday.”