Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood gives his verdict on Jack Grealish's first top-flight start

Jack Grealish

The 19-year-old winger saw 70 minutes of action in Tuesday night's 3-3 draw with Queens Park Rangers.

Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood has praised Jack Grealish’s performances in last night’s 3-3 home draw with Premier League relegation rivals Queens Park Rangers.

Sherwood was speaking to AVTV after the match, having made the bold call to hand Grealish his first top-flight start over the likes of Joe Cole, Charles N’Zogbia, Andreas Weimann and the dropped Carles Gil.

There was some trepidation over whether he would be able to handle the occasion but the teenager proved more than up for the task, starring in an attacking trio with Gabriel Agbonlahor and Christian Benteke.

He stood out during the first-half in particular with his pace, skill, passing and work rate and could have even put Villa 2-1 up in the 17th-minute but for some impressive goalkeeping from QPR’s Rob Green.

The homegrown product wasn’t quite as active after the break before going off for Joe Cole with 70 minutes remaining but it was still an encouraging showing and one which earned him Sherwood’s praise at the final whistle.

“Jack wasn't fazed. I thought he did well,” the Villa boss said. "He gets on the ball, he makes things happen and he dribbles past people.

"He has a big future at this football club."

Sherwood also reserved special plaudits for hat-trick hero Benteke, whose sublime 83rd-minute free kick rescued a draw for Villa and kept them three points above the drop zone with six games left.

"Christian works hard and he is a good lad,” he added. "We will need him between now and the end of the season. We need his goal power.

"If he scores at that rate, we will win more than we lose, that's for sure. His firepower - along with Gabby - could see us safe. He's a top player."

Fitness providing, Benteke’s place in the line-up is all but assured for the weekend’s trip to Tottenham Hotspur but it will be intriguing to see whether Grealish’s showing was enough to earn him a second consecutive start alongside the Belgian.

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch