Aston Villa defender Tyrone Mings ‘fortunate’ to play alongside experienced trio

Tyrone Mings praised his defensive colleagues for helping him through his tournament debut in England’s Euro 2020 win over Croatia.

England's Tyrone Mings
England's Tyrone Mings

The Three Lions opened their European Championship campaign with a 1-0 victory as Raheem Sterling’s goal was enough to see off their Group D rivals.

Mings was one of five outfield players making their first appearance at a major tournament for England as the Villa defender started with Harry Maguire not passed fit in time as he fights back from an ankle issue.

But he played in a back four alongside three team-mates with a total of 125 caps between them ahead of the Croatia game.

And he was pleased to be involved as he hailed his fellow England defenders as they started the tournament with a clean sheet.

“I loved it,” he said when asked about his tournament debut. “Unfortunately Harry isn’t fit, which gave me the opportunity but I think we have such good options at centre-back.

“I was fortunate and happy to start and playing alongside John Stones, Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier – there is a lot of experience in there.

“A lot of tournament experience, international and club experience, so they helped me through it and I was grateful to play a small part in England winning.”

Asked if he felt he would keep his place in the side moving forward in the tournament, Mings replied: “No idea.”

England’s win was the first time they have been victorious in their opening game at a European Championship.

But Mings insisted the England side felt no added pressure to break that streak ahead of kick-off.

“The history didn’t really play a part in our thinking or preparation but, taking the game in isolation, we knew that Croatia were going to be very dangerous.

“We knew how good they are, we wanted to get off to a winning start of course, we wanted a clean sheet and I think it was a really impressive performance from everybody.

“I think we can take great confidence from how we played, the opportunities we created, take great confidence in the the way we defended and kept a very good team at bay. But it is one game and we have got a lot of football to be played still.”

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