‘You’re all right Jack’ – Stephen O’Donnell details bid to keep Grealish quiet

Stephen O'Donnell (PA Wire)
16:35pm, Sun 20 Jun 2021
CBAD8A00-D2B9-4E0E-ADDF-D0366C357A34 Created with sketchtool. E9A4AA46-7DC3-48B8-9CE2-D75274FB8967 Created with sketchtool. 65CCAE04-4748-4D0F-8696-A91D8EB3E7DC Created with sketchtool.

Scotland defender Stephen O’Donnell has revealed his unusual tactic of complimenting Jack Grealish’s hair and calves after getting some inside information on his England rival.

Grealish came on to a rapturous welcome from the England supporters 63 minutes into Friday’s goalless Euro 2020 clash but O’Donnell helped stop the Aston Villa man doing any damage to the visitors.

The Motherwell full-back used some mind games after getting some advice from the midfielder’s Villa colleague and his own Scotland team-mate.

“Thankfully John McGinn gave me some tips,” O’Donnell told the ScotlandHQ.

“He said: ‘If he comes on you need to get nibbling in his ear. But don’t be critical, be complimentary’.

“So the full time he was on I was telling him how good-looking he was, and I loved his calves, and asking him how he got his hair to look like that.

“He said: ‘If you tell him he’s hopeless or kick him really, really hard, he gets up and gets it back at you’.

“So maybe that was the advantage against Jack Grealish the other night.”

Jack Grealish (PA Wire)

The former Luton and Kilmarnock player did resort to kicking the substitute at the expense of a yellow card at one stage after chasing him back to the centre circle.

“I was just getting a wee bit fed up,” he said. “At that stage of the game he had just come on and he was nice and fresh and normally when the fresh wingers come on you are a bit tired.

“I thought, I just need to hit him here because I am getting fed up of him trying to take the Mick out me. So I gave him a wee hit.”

O’Donnell almost had a more significant impact on the game when his 30th-minute volley was well saved by Jordan Pickford.

The 29-year-old had already contemplated his celebration before Pickford got his hand to the ball.

“A couple of days before in training I caught a strike, it was quite a nice one and I took off my bib and started walking in,” he said.

“So I was thinking of a similar reaction if that one went in. It doesn’t matter if it’s 10 minutes in, my career’s done, I am walking straight in.”

Sign up to our newsletter