Tyrone Mings lays bare the struggles he faced under Steven Gerrard after losing captaincy

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‘It was a very difficult start to the season’: Tyrone Mings lays bare the struggles he faced under Steven Gerrard after losing the captaincy and his first-team spot at Aston Villa… but admits the appointment of new boss Unai Emery is ‘exciting’

  • Tyrone Mings confessed he had a ‘very difficult start to the season’ at Aston Villa
  • The defender was stripped of captaincy and dropped by ex-boss Steven Gerrard 
  • Mings has since found his way back into the starting line-up and is in good form
  • The centre-half admitted Unai Emery’s appointment is ‘exciting’ for the club 

Tyrone Mings has admitted he had a ‘very difficult start to the season’ after losing captaincy and his place in the first team at Aston Villa under former boss Steven Gerrard.

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The defender, who has been a stalwart for Villa since their return to the Premier League in 2019, lost his place on the opening day of the season and was stripped of the armband, which was handed to midfield team-mate John McGinn.

Mings has since reclaimed his spot in the starting 11, thanks in part to Diego Carlos’ long-term injury, and is in good form ahead of the World Cup break.

Tyrone Mings said he had a ‘very difficult start to the season’ under old boss Steven Gerrard

The centre-back confessed Gerrard’s lack of confidence in him at the start of the season was a bitter pill to swallow but admitted he is ‘proud’ of the way he responded to the setback.

‘I could sit here and say that it didn’t affect me, but it did,’ he tells The Athletic. ‘I just didn’t let it affect me in a negative way and that is something that I’m really proud of.

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‘It was a very difficult start to the season and there’s no getting away from it. How I’ve managed to put that to one side and play well is certainly my biggest achievement this season.’ 

The former manager was axed following Aston Villa's poor 3-0 defeat by Fulham last week

The former manager was axed following Aston Villa’s poor 3-0 defeat by Fulham last week

Aston Villa, who parted ways with Gerrard after the club’s miserable 3-0 defeat by Fulham last week, have since appointed ex-Arsenal and Villarreal manager Unai Emery, who will take over on November 1 due to work permit formalities.

Whilst admitting that the appointment will bring new challenges, Mings insisted Emery’s arrival is ‘exciting’ because of his success elsewhere.

‘It’s unnerving because it’s not as easy as saying everything is going to be amazing now there’s a new manager,’ he added.

Mings feels the new appointment of former Arsenal and Villarreal boss Unai Emery is 'exciting'

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Mings feels the new appointment of former Arsenal and Villarreal boss Unai Emery is ‘exciting’

‘You also have to prove yourself again. But it’s exciting because of what he has done with the Villarreal players and the big results he has achieved.

‘That to me is the sign of a manager… that he can really squeeze every last bit of motivation, emotion, energy and enthusiasm out of the players he’s working with. 

‘He must be doing something very well between Monday to Friday to make the players really want to play for him and believe in what he is doing, and every 90 minutes, really go to the well for him.’

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