Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce insists Jack Grealish needs "to produce the real deal" after late Brighton leveller

Steve Bruce has challenged Aston Villa forward Jack Grealish to improve his consistency after netting an 89th-minute equaliser to draw 1-1 with Brighton & Hove Albion and deny the Seagulls the Championship title on the final day of the 2016-17 season.

The experienced 56-year-old's first season on B6 saw Villa finish 13th in their first season outside of the Premier League since 1991-92, Grealish's late effort earning a point at home to top-flight-bound Brighton.

And Bruce believes the 21-year-old must produce similar moments on a more consistent basis in order to live up to his promise.

Grealish has to produce that more often, insists Villa boss Bruce

"We know Jack can do that," he told his post-match press conference. "We've got to see the whole package from Jack. He's got a big summer ahead [in the England under-21s at the U21 Euros].

"He's getting to an age now where we can't just talk about talent, he's got to produce it.

"We all know he can score a goal, that's three he's scored now. With someone with Jack's ability, he should be in double figures.

"We've been talking about Jack's development for the last three years. There's times where we can't keep talking about development and potential. He's played enough games. He knows what it is. We all know he's got that in the locker.

"We saw it the other game ago at Fulham and he won us the game against Wigan here too but there's always a but. He's got to get rid of that.

"It's a mentality thing. He has to learn with it and grow with it. He's a local lad and the local favourite here but he has to grasp the situation and produce the real deal. That's the most important thing.

"We all know he's got ability but ability is not enough on its own."

Bruce: We're all as jealous as hell of Brighton despite missing out on league title

The timing of Grealish's equaliser left Brighton with no chance to produce a response as they missed out on the title to Newcastle United, who go up as champions despite having trailed by seven points with three games left of the campaign.

And Bruce admitted he feels for his counterpart Chris Hughton and his Brighton players who sunk to their haunches in disappointment after full-time.

He continued: "I can sympathise because it happened to me with Birmingham where we had to go to Preston. We'd been top of the league for so long and we had to go there and win.

"You come away after Sunderland beat Luton by six I think and we lost to Preston. It feels as if it puts a dampener on it. Look, after two days they get on holiday and they'll look back and think: 'Job achieved.'

"Yeah, they'd have liked the cup I'm sure but they've got promoted. Congratulations to them. For us to be 31 points behind them shows the work I've got. We're all as jealous as hell of them really.

"I think we showed today just what the Championship is, it's tough. Even with 10 men we haven't given up. We've got our reward."

Likewise, Bruce expressed his sympathy for goalkeeper David Stockdale - who was too easily beaten by Grealish's late strike after a number of fine saves."

"He's produced two or three good saves," the Villa manager said. "He got me promoted at Hull a few years ago. He's a very, very good goalkeeper.

"I know he'll be disappointed with the goal but his saves kept them in it, the one from [Conor] Hourihane, the free-kick, was a terrific save.

"He'll be disappointed that one has gone underneath him but he's been a match-saver for them all year."

"The referee's decision not to give a penalty was the worst I've seen all season"

On the game itself, the Englishman bemoaned the performance of referee Darren Bond - who he felt got a major decision wrong at the start of the second-half.

"He's missed a stonewall penalty which was the worst decision I think I've seen all season, when you look back at that one," Bruce added.

"Their penalty, he got that correct. It looked a penalty and it looked a sending off, but the one on young Keinan [Davis] about five minutes before that was a big point in the game.

"Up until [we were reduced to] 10 men, we had the better chances. Unfortunately we couldn't take one."

£12 million January signing Scott Hogan limped off with an ankle injury shortly before half-time but Bruce insisted he could not reveal anything of the striker's diagnosis.

He told reporters: "He'll have x-rays and scans tomorrow. By looking at the video replays he's gone over on his ankle badly.

"Considering the one he did at Newcastle, it's very similar. Let's hope it's not any worse than that. We'll not know for 24, 48 hours."

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