Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood told midfielder Jack Grealish he must “knuckle down” if he is to reach his potential and get back in his good books.
The highly-rated Grealish, 19, was pictured lying, apparently drunk, on a street in Tenerife during the off-season.
Sherwood warned the teenager he needed to change his approach and make sacrifices if he was to fulfil his potential.
“I’ve had a word with him, he knows it’s got to stop. He’s got to knuckle down,” Sherwood was quoted as saying by The Daily Mail.
“I can highlight top players who I’ve worked with previously as young boys and talk about their attitudes and ability.
“At the moment Jack has got a lot of ability, he’s still only young – seven Premier League starts – unless the attitude comes up to anywhere near marrying in, he could be one of those statistics where he goes out of the game. Loads have previously. He’s got to make sure he’s not one of them.
“It is as simple as making sacrifices. We all did it. You can’t live a normal life like everybody unfortunately. You’re in the public eye. You’re an example.
“There needs to be a level of self-discipline, he knows what’s right and what’s wrong.
“I’m not ready to write him off. He’s just got to get back in the good books.”
Grealish has made 18 senior appearances for boyhood club Villa, including 17 last season – albeit mostly off the bench.
Villa assistant Ray Wilkins echoed Sherwood’s comments and said Grealish needed to accept a quieter lifestyle.
“What do you want in life? The only way you can be a professional footballer is to graft your balls off,” the former Chelsea captain said.
“If you have that natural talent that Jack has – at 19, he can be fitter than 95 per cent of midfield players – he is a massive asset.”
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