Tyrone Mings is grateful for the impact John Terry has had on his development as the Aston Villa defender prepares for a potential England debut.
Mings, 26, is in the national squad for the first time ahead of the Euro 2020 qualifying double-header against Bulgaria on Saturday and Kosovo three days later.
He has been working with Terry, the former England and Chelsea captain who is assistant head coach at Villa, since January, when he joined the midlands outfit on loan from Bournemouth, a switch made permanent over the summer.
When asked about the 38-year-old former centre-back, Mings said: “He has developed my game for sure.
“I’ve been fortunate to work with some really good coaches over the years – (former Ipswich boss) Mick McCarthy, (Bournemouth boss) Eddie Howe, (Villa boss) Dean Smith. John Terry is just another great example of somebody I can learn from, who has been there and achieved everything I would want to achieve in the game.
“To learn from him and take little pieces of advice from him is something I feel really fortunate to be able to do.
“We do a lot of work on clips and reviewing my performances. So I feel like I’m in a really good place and I have a really good mentor to learn from.”
Mings added: “He tries to tell me to go through a game without being seen or without being mentioned.
“He says that is a good reflection of a centre-back’s performance – if they come off the pitch and nobody really knows what they’ve done and they’ve quietly gone about their business. So that is something I am trying to do more.
“After a game we’ll watch clips of my game back and he’ll then tell me what he likes and what he doesn’t like.
“He’s worked under such great managers and he’s obviously got all the experience that I would love to have, so things that he tells me really stick and we then try to implement that on the training pitch and work through different things.
“He gives me a little bit of criticism but at the moment it’s a lot of positivity.”
Mings, speaking at St George’s Park, has been impressed by the international set-up he has walked into and regarding what he saw as the end goal for England, he said: “I think it has to be being recognised as the best team in the world.
“There is a little bit of a way to go until that happens, but I think the structure and the culture around the England set-up, from what I’ve seen so far, is one that can really carry us very far.
“It is not drummed into us, it is a collective culture that the manager (Gareth Southgate) is trying to put in place here and everybody is working in the same direction.
“That is something that if you come into this squad you have to be a part of, whether as a staff member of a player. That is what we want to work towards and that has to be the goal.”
Mings was also asked about the sense of openness with regard to the current England squad and the way players like Raheem Sterling and Danny Rose have spoken out about certain issues.
He said it was “an important thing for fans…to be able to see that we are humans and we do have opinions” and added: “People have spoken out about racism. Whether it be mental health or any topic people feel strongly about, I think they should feel comfortable enough to kind of portray their personality.”
Mings also said: “We have a very diverse squad here and I think we have players here that everybody in different walks of life can relate to. I do think that is important.
“At the moment there is a lot of things going on in terms of racism and discrimination in different forms. So to be able to look at the England squad and see such a diverse group can only be positive.”
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