By Alex McLeish

16th Oct, 2020 | 8:37am

McLeish Exclusive: Smith will be thrilled after 'Outstanding' new Villa development

Alex McLeish believes that Dean Smith will be delighted that Aston Villa star Jack Grealish was left on the bench for England against Denmark and Belgium.

The former Villa and Scotland boss, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, insists that the 49-year-old will have had his “fingers crossed” that the 25-year-old returned to domestic duty fit and raring to go.

Grealish started the Three Lions’ friendly tie against Wales and set up Dominic Calvert-Lewin for the opening goal.

However, he was left as an unused substitute for both of England’s Nations League group games.

McLeish insists that Smith will be proud of his player for his performance against the Welsh but that the manager will also be pleased he ended up getting rested.

McLeish told Football Insider: “Grealish is in outstanding form, he does that amazing assist against Wales and then he finds himself out of the next game.

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“I don’t think Dean Smith is complaining that he’s coming back probably very fresh and with good confidence in his head because of that good international performance that he had.

“The manager’s at home will have their fingers crossed that they do well but don’t take too much out of them, we’ve got a huge game, a massive game in the Premier League coming up.

“Dean rightly will be proud of what he’s done and I’m sure there’s more to come from Jack as far as international level is concerned.”

Grealish has already scored four goals and chipped in with three assists in Villa’s opening three Premier League games of the season.

The Villans’ next game sees them take on Leicester City away from home on Sunday.

In other Aston Villa news, board tipped to back Smith to the hilt in stunning late transfer raid.