Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood discusses Jack Grealish's role during the run-in

The Villa boss is keen to get the teenage attacker more involved during the club's battle to avoid the drop after handing him his first Premier League start.

Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood has told his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday's trip to Tottenham Hotspur that he believes Jack Grealish can play a major role in helping the club avoid relegation.

Grealish, 19, was expected to become an important part of the since-departed Paul Lambert’s side after making his first-team breakthrough at the start of the season but has instead spent most of the campaign either warming the bench or in the reserves.

However, having impressed in 10 league cameos and two cup starts, the promising winger was handed his full top-flight debut for the visit of relegation rivals Queens Park Rangers earlier this week, when he proceeded to put in an encouraging 70-minute outing.

It remains to be seen whether his performance in the 3-3 home draw will be enough to earn him a second consecutive start for the weekend’s match at Tottenham but Sherwood insists that he will get amble more opportunities to prove his worth during their survival bid.

A local product and childhood fan, the Villa boss has no doubts about his star prospect’s desire to fight for the club but insists that his talent also warrants a place in the line-up.

"He's not fazed. He knows the fabric of the club. He knows every turnstile at Villa Park. No-one cares more than Jack Grealish," said Sherwood. "But it's not just about his heart and desire to keep this club in the league. It's also about his ability and what he carries.

"He's aware, he can open teams up, he can dribble past people, he's got a massive future at this football club.

"If I wasn't sure about him, I wouldn't be putting him in," he added. "I looked for a No.10. I looked at my options. He was my No.1. He has good awareness. He plays with wing mirrors.

"I am only picking a team in the best interests of winning a football match. I had no doubt about him. He is a player for the future of this football club - but he's a player for now aswell."

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