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Tyrone Mings: Aston Villa clean sheet was most important

Villa captain Tyrone Mings identified the clean sheet as the most important aspect of Saturday’s 2-0 win over Brighton.

Tyrone Mings of Aston Villa. (AMA)
Tyrone Mings of Aston Villa. (AMA)

Victory over the Seagulls saw Villa halt a five-match losing streak and gave new boss Steven Gerrard a winning start to his reign.

In a game of few chances, Ollie Watkins and Mings both struck late for the hosts. Villa, who posted 15 clean sheets last season, had gone into the game having conceded 13 goals in their previous five matches.

Mings said: “The clean sheet is the most pleasing thing, above everything else. That has to be bedrock of our success, just as it was last season.

“We will always get chances and create because of the fantastic attacking talent we have in this team but we have to get back to being hard to beat, resolute and we have to get back to keep clean sheets.

“Villa Park has to be a hard place for teams to come. It has to be a place we enjoy playing and excite our supporters.

“We’ve had a tough period, there is no doubt about that. We’ve had to ask some difficult questions of each other. It was time to stand up and be counted and put in a big performance. It was a step in the right direction and that is the most pleasing thing.”

After Watkins had opened the scoring in the 84th minute, centre-back Mings secured the points with a cool right-footed finish.

Asked about his first Premier League goal of the season, he replied: “It was all a bit of a blur, if I’m honest. I saw the ball roll out and how it managed to creep in I don’t know.

“Ollie managed to set us on our way with a fantastic finish. There were some important blocks in the first half as well, people throwing their bodies on the line. Everything came together.”

The win saw Villa climb four points clear of the relegation zone. They next travel to Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Mings said: “It has felt different ever since the new gaffer has come in. New ideas, everyone has bought into it.

“We have not had long to work on perfecting the ideas the manager is trying to get over to us but I think we gave it a good go today.

“Everyone has bought into it so far and I think you saw it in the performance, the willingness to work as a team and really work for each other. This was a step forward and we have to keep it going.”

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