England boss Gareth Southgate explains Jack Grealish snub after Denmark loss

England boss Gareth Southgate has explained why he left Jack Grealish on the bench in Wednesday’s 1-0 defeat against Denmark, just days after the Aston Villa star’s man-of-the-match display against Wales.

Grealish was left to watch on from the bench as the Three Lions suffered a disappointing loss at Wembley.

Christian Eriksen marked his return to his old stomping ground by smashing home a first-half penalty after Kyle Walker and Jordan Pickford’s miscommunication led to a foul on Thomas Delaney.

England’s night was made worse by Harry Maguire’s red card, while Reece James also saw red after the final whistle.

Southgate was forced into a change after Maguire’s dismissal, as he brought off Ainsley Maitland-Niles to replace him with Tyrone Mings.

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The England boss tinkered with his side in the second-half in an attempt to get back into the game, as the Three Lions struggled to create much going forward.

Many observers felt Grealish should have been brought off the bench at some point following his dazzling display just days ago against Wales.

However, the Aston Villa playmaker was left on the sidelines as Jadon Sancho and Dominic Calvert-Lewin were brought on in attacking positions instead.

Speaking after the game, Southgate defended his decision to snub the 24-year-old, insisting he needed more pace out wide.

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He said: ‘We had to go with speed in the wide areas and athleticism in the wide areas because with ten you have got such a shift without the ball. Mason [Mount] and Marcus [Rashford] did that really well.

“And we felt to get Dominic on and Jadon because the moments to press you need speed.

“It’s a different game with ten, so it threw a lot of plans out of the window.

“The team dug and defended as a solid unit and got our set plays in the box.”

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Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp speculated after the game that Southgate doesn’t rate Grealish, and offered some words of advice to the 25-year-old.

He said: “It’s a difficult one. He hasn’t got to fancy Jack Grealish as a footballer. I think back to Matt Le Tissier, Glenn Hoddle didn’t fancy him.

“It’s probably driving him mad to answer questions about Jack Grealish but he is different. Just throw him on, get him to do something.

“It’s simple for him. Go and play great for Aston Villa. It’s a simple equation for him. He is loving his football right now. If he doesn’t fancy him that’s not the end of the world it happens all the time.”

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