Grealish being left out of England XI was ‘not a surprise’ – but there is a plan

Wes Brown has backed Jack Grealish to play a huge role for England at Euro 2020 despite Gareth Southgate's Croatia snub, reiterating his comparisons to Paul Gascoigne.

The former Manchester United defender, who made 23 appearances for the Three Lions between 1999 and 2010 is a big fan of the Aston Villa skipper – but wasn't surprised to see him on the bench.

The 41-year-old believes that Southgate was right to show caution against the experience of Croatia, adding that Scotland and Czech Republic could see a change in tactics.

Grealish, 25, might well get his first major tournament start for England on Friday evening, with Steve Clarke and his men needing all three points after an opening defeat.

Brown, speaking exclusively to Ladbrokes at the launch of their European Championships 5-a-side Bet, said: "I'm not surprised Jack Grealish didn't play against Croatia.

"I understand why fans might have been a bit frustrated but if there was one game in the group we needed to be a bit more cautious in, it was that one. We made that good side look pretty ordinary.

"When Grealish does come in, it'll be for certain games. He's a unique player; there aren't many out there quite like him. He can produce something on his own, he's so comfortable on the ball.

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"Foden's comfortable but he's different to him. He's a bit more Gazza-ish than Foden.

"But I do think Southgate will play things differently, I honestly do. I think he'll bring in a few fresh faces. If you want to do a straight swap in midfield, it would be Grealish for Foden.

"I thought Foden went pretty quiet after 30 minutes or so against Croatia. Marcus Rashford could come in for Raheem Sterling for me as well, if he wanted to give Sterling a break."

Despite missing working alone in training on Tuesday, Grealish has since trained with the team on Wednesday and Thursday – and feeling fresh ahead of the second fixture.

Speaking on 5 Live’s Daily Euros podcast, he said: “I’m fine. I’m all good. I was actually thinking about coming out for the warm up (on Tuesday).”

Adding: “Yeah. I’m fine. I trained today (Wednesday) and I’ll train tomorrow.”

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