Villa boss tells referees to protect his star man ahead of Chelsea clash

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Aston Villa boss Dean Smith has admitted that he’d like more referee protection for his captain and star man Jack Grealish.

Grealish is the star of the Aston Villa side and often draw fouls in every game, and Smith thinks that the 24-year-old deserves more protection.

Asked whether he would like to see Grealish given more protection ahead of Villa’s visit to Chelsea on Wednesday, Dean Smith said: “I certainly would.

“There was a bit of a tag team on him

[at Old Trafford]

. When somebody gets targeted then they certainly need a lot more protection.

“You are going to target top players, and he is getting targeted.

“I expected him to be the most fouled. He protects the ball so well, his balance is exceptional, he is a great ball carrier, and he does give defenders problems.

“It seems to be they want to foul him around the halfway line before he gets any further. We certainly got four or five of them at Old Trafford in the first half an hour.”

Smith also said: “He gets whacked all the time but just gets on with it. I think he sees it as a prize that they want to kick him.

“He got chinned by a Blues fan and that didn’t seem to bother him either.

“I know he played Gaelic football growing up as a kid, and it’s a tough sport. He probably had a few whacks and he’s learned how to deal with it.”

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