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06th Oct 2015

Martin O’Neill leaves the press in no doubt about his efforts to get Jack Grealish

Strong words

Si Lloyd

Jack Grealish’s decision to represent England at international level left many Irish football fans disappointed.

Despite representing the Republic of Ireland at Under-21 level, the Aston Villa midfielder pledged his international future to the country of his birth last month.

Having invited Grealish to join up with Ireland’s senior squad on numerous occasions, Martin O’Neil has responded to newspaper reports that suggest he invested too much effort in pursuing the 20-year-old.


“I never chased Jack Grealish at all. I never prostituted myself in any way, shape or form trying to get Jack Grealish,” said O’Neill.

“I think Jack Grealish and his father would readily admit that. In fact, actually I was accused of the other thing, of not chasing it up, so I didn’t do that.”

O’Neill also added that he had no qualms with the youngster’s choice.

“Jack Grealish had a decision to make. Jack Grealish was born in England, his father was born in England and therefore he made a decision to play in England, so that’s it.”

O’Neill was speaking ahead of Ireland’s crucial Euro 2016 qualifiers against Germany and Poland.