Blackburn Rovers manager Tony Mowbray has paid tribute to the quality of Aston Villa midfielders John McGinn and Jack Grealish, following his side’s 2-1 defeat at Villa Park on Saturday.
Goals from Anwar El Ghazi and Tyrone Mings in either half meant that Amari’i Bell’s late strike was little more than a consolation for Rovers, but it was McGinn and Grealish who were singled out for special praise by Mowbray.
Speaking to the Lancashire Telegraph about what he said to 21-year-old Rovers midfielder Lewis Travis about facing the pair, Mowbray revealed: “I told him that whichever player he came up against, one is a pocket dynamo who can roll you with his body and moves it on to his left. The other is sheer class with the ball, picking the right pass time and time again.”
McGinn and Grealish have both impressed with their performances this season, and when asked if they were the best midfield partnership Rovers had had to deal with this season, Mowbray replied: “Undoubtedly. You could feel their quality on the pitch… we couldn’t get near them really.”
The victory over Blackburn was Villa’s fifth on the bounce as Dean Smith’s side further cemented their reputation as one of the teams to avoid in the play-offs, as they look to make up for the Wembley heartache of last season.
While Grealish’s talent was no secret, McGinn has been something of a revelation in the Midlands since arriving from Hibernian in the summer.
The two have formed a dangerous partnership and will be crucial to Villa’s hopes of a return to the Premier League, as shown by the fact that Villa’s current winning run coincided with Grealish’s own return from injury.