Clean sheet the most important thing for Aston Villa defender Tyrone Mings

Tyrone Mings claims he took greater pleasure in Villa’s clean sheet than his goal in Monday’s win at Fulham.

Aston Villa's Tyrone Mings
Aston Villa's Tyrone Mings

The England international netted for the third time in the Premier League as Dean Smith’s men continued their excellent start to the season with a 3-0 victory at Craven Cottage.

But it was bagging an elusive away day shut-out which pleased central defender Mings the most.

Prior to Monday, Villa had failed to keep a clean sheet in their previous 26 top-flight matches on the road.

Two games into this season, their defence is yet to be breached and Mings said: “It’s always nice to chip in with a goal, but the clean sheet is the most important thing.

“It gives us a great foundation to go and get something from the game. I think everyone worked their socks off today.

“As a back four we were hard to beat, but that is only easy to do if you have a midfielder and strikers contributing.

“The pride in keeping a clean sheet and the importance of it should not be overlooked, against any team.”

Villa have conceded only twice in their last Premier League matches dating back to last season, continuing a remarkable turnaround for a defence which ranked among the top flight’s worst before last season was halted by the coronavirus.

“After lockdown the one thing we prided ourselves on was the ability to keep the ball out of our, being hard to beat,” added Mings. “We knew that being expansive like we were at the start of last season would not really get us anywhere.

“We were in Fulham’s position last season, with no points from two games. We knew how much they would be up for it. We had to match that and I think we did that.”

Mings’ views were echoed by Ezri Konsa, his central defensive partner, who has earned praise for his own performances in recent months.

“It’s very pleasing (to keep the clean sheet) but it wasn’t a surprise to us,” said Konsa. “People can see from Project Restart how well we have done defensively and how few goals we have conceded. I think we have improved again this season and we were very good on Monday. It was very solid.”

Asked about his own improvement since football resumed in June, Konsa replied: “I think it is experience and being paired alongside Tyrone.

“He helps me a lot in terms of talking me through the game.

“I think there is a togetherness in the team and the players around me help keep me performing.

“Everyone can see the belief we have got in this team.

“I believe we can go far if we keep working and learning and putting that into practice on a matchday.”

Villa next host Stoke on Thursday in the Carabao Cup fourth round, before welcoming champions Liverpool in the Premier League on Sunday.

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News