Sheffield Wednesday boss Steve Bruce identifies Aston Villa dangerman

Sheffield Wednesday have been warned to keep a close eye on attacking midfielder Jack Grealish ahead of their crunch showdown with in-form Aston Villa.

Friday, 5th April 2019, 12:28 pm
Updated Friday, 5th April 2019, 1:28 pm

Grealish is poised to lead Villa into battle when Dean Smith's side head to Hillsborough tomorrow.

The 23-year-old has sparkled since returning from a three-month injury lay-off, playing an integral part in the club's march up the table.. Villa currently occupy the final play-off spot after five consecutive league wins.

And Grealish, who was dogged by off-field controversy earlier in his career, is revelling in the extra responsibility from being handed the captain’s armband last month.

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Aston Villa's Jack Grealish (centre) celebrates scoring a goal against Aston Villa last month

Speaking ahead of his first reunion with Villa since the club sacked him back in October, Owls boss Steve Bruce said: "He is a very, very good player is the kid and, for me, he will have a wonderful career.

"I think he has matured over the last 18 months.

"He is easily the best player in the division so we will have to be wary of him."

Bruce, a four-time promotion winner, played a key role in helping Grealish get his career back on track.

The former Manchester United defender led to Villa to the play-off final last year. But Villa missed out on promotion after losing to Fulham in the showpiece Wembley fixture.

But Bruce, who has yet to lose as Wednesday boss having lifted the Owls up to 11th and four points off former employers, is acutely aware of Villa's strengths and weaknesses.

He said: "They’ve got some good players. And I always said they would be there or thereabouts.

"When you are in constant change, it takes time.

"I know most of the players. Of course I do. I brought a lot of them to the club. We know the ins and outs of them but make no mistake it will be a tough game for us.

"They have got some good players but so have we.

"It will be a big game and there will be a big crowd. It is what we play football for and there is a bit of spice because of who I managed before."