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Jack Grealish 'loved the pressure' of competitive England bow

Jack Grealish "loved the pressure" of his competitive England debut.

The Aston Villa midfielder was praised for his performance despite the Three Lions falling to a 2-0 defeat to Belgium in the Nations League and admits that he loved being involved in a big match.

Grealish told Sky Sports: "I absolutely loved it.

"For me, this is what I have been waiting for. These are the games that I dreamed of playing in. This is what I love, the pressure of needing to play well."

England boss Gareth Southgate has been criticised for his reluctance to use Grealish but suggested that his display against Belgium has improved his prospects of earning a place in the team for the coming games.

Asked if the Villa captain had moved up the pecking order, Southgate said: "Yeah, 100 percent.

"I sort of explained to him what we wanted to see when we brought him in in September. I think it's been helpful for him to bed in with the group so that he knows the way we want to play and the players get an understanding with him. And today was a great game for us to see him in and to see the level, and I couldn't speak highly enough of his performance.

"What I saw that I knew I would see was somebody with the bravery to play. I think he took the ball in tight areas, his techniques were good, he took players out of the game - we knew he would buy a lot of free kicks, which of course he did.

"I just thought he was outstanding and he should be absolutely delighted with the way he played."

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