Villa boss Sherwood: 'It is totally up to Jack'

Villa boss Sherwood: 'It is totally up to Jack'

ASTON VILLA manager Tim Sherwood spoke with Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill, but insists he didn’t influence Jack Grealish’s decision to turn down an international call up.

At a press briefing Sherwood admitted that he had a conversation with O’Neill.  "I just told him that Jack is not going to make a decision on international football until after the season," Sherwood said.

"It is totally up to Jack. If Jack decided he wanted to play for Ireland or England now it is totally up to Jack. The decision was left with him.

"If he wants guidance from me, unfortunately I can't give it to him. Jack has to know who he wants to represent."

Villa boss Sherwood is adamant that Grealish’s focus at the moment is firmly on helping his club avoid relegation.

"I don't think Jack didn't want to play for Ireland, I don't think he didn't want to play for England or Brazil for that matter.  It's on hold.

"He's got three very important games to take care of for Aston Villa. His concentration is fully on that.

"Jack hasn't made his mind up what country he wants to represent. The good news is they all want him. It's a decision only Jack has to make in a cool, calm situation."

Grealish has flared to prominence since Sherwood took over as Villa chief.  "I don't find him cocky,” Sherwood commented. “He's a nice lad. I've never had a problem. He's very confident, a great guy, a good kid and wants to improve. That's what I've learned. He certainly hasn't changed from the moment I walked in here.

"He's concentrating on improving and if he can get to where we think he can he can be a special player.”