Aston Villa & Celtic legend Stiliyan Petrov gave his insight on the elite mentality Jack Grealish possesses.
Stiliyan Petrov tells Studs Up about Jack Grealish's intense training regime
Aston Villa legend Stiliyan Petrov believes the club have found their talisman in Jack Grealish, discussing the Three Lions star on oddschecker’s Studs Up podcast.
Petrov said: “I remember him very well. I had to run beside him, I had to kick him, I had to make sure that I get that ball off him.
“But I'm really happy and I'm really delighted to see the way Jack really has developed himself, not just as a footballer but as an individual as well, becoming captain of Villa.
“But since the first day he joined us in the first team, we could see that he'd got that ability to be something special, to develop, because it's important for a young boy to see if he can develop.
“He has shown a huge amount of that. He came the first day, he picked up the ball, he'll drive, he'll take three, four players on. Then he'll score a goal. We'll kick him, he'll go and get the ball again and you're thinking this is something special.
Grealish’s heroic status is not in doubt at the club, and Petrov lapped praise on the coaching staff. Petrov quipped: “What I will mention is he at that time, he had a very special coach. His name is Kevin McDonald.
“So every time he trained with the first team, he'd always demand from Jack Grealish to come back to the under-21 or under-23 to make sure he learnt his trade.
“He learned that to deserve to be in the first team, you have to work, you have to put more effort than anybody else. So, I've definitely seen that, we've definitely seen his potential, we've definitely seen how special he is, but he has managed to do that himself by listening and learning and developing in the right way.
When asked about Grealish's training habits, Petrov explained his arduous schedule: “Yeah, he does put in a lot of effort off the pitch, and on the pitch as well because he knows that if he wants to be the best. If he wants to compete (against) the best, if he wants to achieve everything that he wants to achieve, he has to change his way of thinking, way of preparation. He has definitely done that.
“I've managed to play with him, I've managed to have a great friendship as well and I've seen how he works, how he's adapted to the modern football.
“His regime, workload, his attention to detail is completely different now. His day-to-day regime - he'll go to training, he'll train with the group, then he'll do his extra after training, go back, sleep.
“Then he'll go back in the evening, he'll get back at 5, 6 o'clock in the evening and he'll work until 9 o'clock.
“I mean if you've seen pictures, if you've seen the development of Jack Grealish about five years ago to what he is now. He's built up his upper body, I mean he always had strong legs, but now his balance, his power, he's quicker off the mark.
“So you can only achieve that if you do work, if you put extra effort, extra work. He has definitely done that and he is improving and developing in the right way.
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