After dropping him in his first game, Aston Villa manager Remi Garde has warned winger Jack Grealish he must fight to regain his place at Villa Park.
A regular under former boss Tim Sherwood, he was an unused substitute in the 0-0 English Premier League draw with Manchester City earlier this month, which ended a seven-game losing streak.
The 20-year-old could be benched again for Saturday’s trip to Everton, and Garde wants Grealish to raise his game.
“Jack for me is a very gifted player with a lot of skill and quality but what I saw in the last few games he played was not the level he should have played,” he said.
“It is as simple as that. He needed more confidence and more structure in his game.
“He was running everywhere and then we tried to work on that. I have to say he has been very good in training these last two weeks. For me he is an unfinished player.”
The 49-year-old also said he will lay down the law to anyone not working hard enough as Villa battle relegation, being winless in league since the opening day of the season.
“I am not here to be nice with the people,” he added.
“If you don’t tell the truth to the player it is useless.
“When they are good you have to tell them and when they are not good you have to tell them too.
“If you don’t work and you are gifted it is not enough. But when you work hard you will be rewarded for that.”