Jack Grealish has revealed he watched clips of Kevin de Bruyne and Philippe Coutinho ahead of his first competitive England start against Belgium.
The Three Lions’ hopes of Nations League glory came to an end with the 2-0 defeat on Sunday, but Grealish was by far England’s brightest player during the match.
Speaking to Sky Sports following the full-time whistle, the Aston Villa star admitted that although he was disappointed to not mark his milestone with a win, he was delighted to finally be named in Gareth Southgate’s first 11 for an important match.
“I found out yesterday,” Grealish said. “I knew this was my chance to try and impress. These are the things I love – the pressure of wanting to do well.
“For the past 24 hours I’ve been watching little clips of my favourite players, which I do before every game. I’ve just been buzzing for the game.
“There’s been no nerves, I’ve just been so excited and wanted it start. But I’m obviously gutted we didn’t get the win.”
When pressed on which players he had been watching, Grealish added: “I watch loads of clips. I watched clips of De Bruyne, clips of Coutinho. Players that are in my position really.
“That’s what I’ve done since I was a little kid and I still do it to this day. I have no shame in saying that. That’s what gets me going for football matches.”
It remains to be seen if Grealish is involved again in England’s final Nations League group game against Iceland on Wednesday, but he certainly impressed captain Harry Kane with his efforts against Belgium.
When asked about Grealish’s performance, the Tottenham striker said: “Fantastic player. I really like him.
“It was great to get out there on the pitch with him today. You can see his qualities on the ball, he wants to get on it.
“One v one, he’s always looking for that pass forward which is great for a striker. Really positive signs.
“He’s been in great form for his club as well so he’s just got to keep his head down, working hard and I’m sure he’ll be getting plenty of opportunities in an England shirt.”