Aston Villa's Jack Grealish: I know the path to an England call-up
Villa skipper Jack Grealish believes an England call-up is within his grasp if he can hit top form on a regular basis.
The 24-year-old responded to missing out on the latest Three Lions squad by producing his best performance of the season as Villa thumped Norwich 5-1 at Carrow Road on Saturday.
Grealish capped off an excellent display by scoring in the Premier League for the first time in more than four years.
The attacker, who has been watched regularly by Southgate since the start of the season, acknowledged he has not yet found the consistency to earn a call-up.
But he is confident consistently good performances would see him force his way in.
Asked if he had expected a call-up for the forthcoming qualifiers with the Czech Republic and Bulgaria, Grealish replied: “No, not really. Not at the moment.
“I know for a fact if I play to the best of my ability, then I can get in there. But this time, truthfully, I did not expect to get in.
“I did well on Saturday, or I like to think I did well. If I keep performing to the way I know I can, hopefully this will give me a big lift and hopefully (I will get in) soon.”
Grealish’s primary concern is Villa and the skipper could not hide his delight at the manner of Saturday’s win.
It was Villa’s biggest victory away from home in the Premier League since April, 2008 and lifted Dean Smith’s men out of the relegation zone.
Grealish’s goal, meanwhile, was only his second in the top flight and the first since he netted in a 3-2 defeat at Leicester in September, 2015.
He said: “The manager told me before the game he wanted me to get a tap in, more than anything.
“I told him after it wasn’t a tap in! It was actually a hard finish at the time.
“I’m so happy to get the goal but the only thing I wanted was the win. It has been coming for a long time.
“I actually sat down with (chief executive) Christian Purslow on Friday night and we had a chat.
“I was saying how sometimes you see things on social media and people talk about us, saying we are struggling.
“I think we are so far away from struggling. We have been unreal if anything.
“If you look at our games the only one we have struggled with is Spurs, where we should have lost. The rest of the games we have only lost by one goal. To get the win just tops it off.”