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Stephen O'Donnell reveals tactic to keep Jack Grealish quiet

Stephen O'Donnell reveals tactic to keep Jack Grealish quiet
© Reuters
The Scotland defender adopted an unusual tactic in Friday's clash against England.

Scotland defender Stephen O'Donnell has revealed his unusual tactic of complimenting Jack Grealish's hair and calves after getting some inside information on his England rival.

Grealish came on to a rapturous welcome from the England supporters 63 minutes into Friday's goalless Euro 2020 clash but O'Donnell helped stop the Aston Villa man doing any damage to the visitors.

The Motherwell full-back used some mind games after getting some advice from the midfielder's Villa colleague and his own Scotland team-mate.

"Thankfully John McGinn gave me some tips," O'Donnell told the ScotlandHQ.

"He said: 'If he comes on you need to get nibbling in his ear. But don't be critical, be complimentary'.

"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 said: 'If you tell him he's hopeless or kick him really, really hard, he gets up and gets it back at you'.

"So maybe that was the advantage against Jack Grealish the other night."

Jack Grealish
England's Jack Grealish in action against Scotland (Mike Egerton/PA)

The former Luton and Kilmarnock player did resort to kicking the substitute at the expense of a yellow card at one stage after chasing him back to the centre circle.

"I was just getting a wee bit fed up," he said. "At that stage of the game he had just come on and he was nice and fresh and normally when the fresh wingers come on you are a bit tired.

"I thought, I just need to hit him here because I am getting fed up of him trying to take the Mick out me. So I gave him a wee hit."

O'Donnell almost had a more significant impact on the game when his 30th-minute volley was well saved by Jordan Pickford.

The 29-year-old had already contemplated his celebration before Pickford got his hand to the ball.

"A couple of days before in training I caught a strike, it was quite a nice one and I took off my bib and started walking in," he said.

"So I was thinking of a similar reaction if that one went in. It doesn't matter if it's 10 minutes in, my career's done, I am walking straight in."

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Scotland's John McGinn celebrates scoring against Austria on March 25, 2021
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States24282173
Olympics flagRussian Olympic Committee13211852
Great BritainGreat Britain13171343
Today's Olympic highlights header

Tuesday's key events

· Team GB duo Jack Laugher - silver medallist in Rio - and James Heatly take part in the men's 3m springboard semi-final (2am), and will hope to qualify for the final later in the day (7am)

· Two Britons are involved in the women's long jump final, but Abigail Irozuru and Jazmin Sawyers have their work cut out to get a spot on the podium (2.50am)
· Norwegian Karsten Warholm, who broke the world record just last month, goes for gold in the men's 400m hurdles final. USA's Rai Benjamin is expected to be his main challenger (4.20am)
· Great Britain have three representatives in the final of the women's 800m, with Jemma Reekie having perhaps the best chance of a medal (1.25pm)
· A mouth-watering women's 200m final sees Elaine Thompson-Herah go for the prestigious sprint double after claiming the 100m crown. Compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Namibia's Christine Mboma and USA's Gabrielle Thomas are expected to be her main competitors (1.50pm)

· The rescheduled women's skiff 49er FX (4.33am) and men's skiff 49er (5.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races
· Defending champion Giles Scott bids for a second successive gold in the Finn class medal race (6.33am)
· There is another medal chance for Team GB in the mixed Nacra 17 medal race (7.33am)

· Team GB's Joe Fraser takes part in the parallel bars final, kicking off the final day of artistic gymnastics (9am)
· USA superstar Simone Biles, who has been forced to pull out of all of her finals so far, is on the starting list for the beam final as she bids for a fifth Olympic gold (9.50am)

· The men's semi-finals take place, with Mexico taking on Brazil first up (9am)
· The winner of that first semi-final will face either hosts Japan or Spain (2pm)

· Laura Kenny will look to win a third straight Olympic team pursuit gold medal. Team GB take on United States in their heat (7.44am), with the gold medal race later that day (9.26am)
· Laura's husband and fellow Olympic legend Jason Kenny will also look to continue his huge success in the men's team sprint - an event he has won gold in at every Games since 2008. Team GB will first need to get through the men's qualifying (7.58am), with the gold medal race ending the session (9.44am)

· Pat McCormack will be looking to achieve his dream of Olympic gold when he faces Cuba's Roniel Iglesias (11.05am)

> Today's schedule in full
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