“John McGinn had given me some tips.”
Scotland defender Stephen O’Donnell has revealed that he complimented Jack Grealish’s calves and hair in an attempt to put the Englishman off his game.
O’Donnell and his Scottish teammates held England to a 0-0 draw during their Euro 2020 encounter at Wembley Stadium, as the home side were unable to break down the stubborn Scotland defence.
Gareth Southgate introduced Grealish off the bench in the second half in an effort to spark some creativity within his team, which led O’Donnell to get a little bit creative himself in trying to contain the Aston Villa midfielder.
Stephen O’Donnell reveals mind games he used against Jack Grealish.
“I was just getting a bit fed up at that stage of the game, he’d just come on, he was nice and fresh,” O’Donnell said on the Scottish national team’s podcast.
“Normally when fresh wingers come on that’s when you’re a bit tired so I thought ‘I just need to hit him here,’ because I was getting fed up of him trying to take the mick out of me so I gave him a wee hit.
“Thankfully [Scotland midfielder] John McGinn had given me some tips – he said if he comes on you need to be nibbling in his ear but don’t be critical, be complimentary.
Stephen O’Donnell revealed what went on between him and Jack Grealish on this morning’s #ScotlandHQ – and the tips he’d been given from John McGinn… 😂
— Scotland National Team (@ScotlandNT) June 20, 2021
“So the full time he was on I was telling him how good looking he was and I loved his calves and asking him how he got his hair to look like that.
“He [McGinn] said if you tell him he’s hopeless or kick him really, really hard, he gets up and gives it back at you. So maybe that was the advantage against Jack Grealish the other night.”
Scotland and England’s Euro 2020 hopes lie in the balance.
O’Donnell’s tactics appeared to work to some extent, as Grealish was unable to make a significant impact in the final 30 minutes of the game, which ultimately ended goalless.
The draw kept Scotland’s slim hoped of progression to the last 16 of Euro 2020 alive, although Steve Clarke’s side will have to beat Croatia on Tuesday if they hope to escape their group.
England, meanwhile, are currently positioned to book their spot in the knockout stages.