Steven Gerrard says Tyrone Mings should enjoy Elland Road gauntlet as Aston Villa visit Leeds with the defender backed to regain his England place after Gareth Southgate dropped him from his latest squad
- Aston Villa visits Elland Road on Sunday to play against Leeds United in the Premier League
- Defender Tyrone Mings is often singled out for a barrage of abuse from the stands
- His manager Steven Gerrard is confident Mings will seize the opportunity
- Gerrard also believes it’s not too late to claim a World Cup place for England
Steven Gerrard backs Tyrone Mings to beat the barracks in Leeds on Sunday and send Gareth Southgate a timely reminder.
The Aston Villa defender is the man the Elland Road stalwarts make sure he gets a hard time when he shows up.
And the fixture itself gained an extra edge when Leeds scored a controversial goal in 2019 and then manager Marcelo Bielsa ordered his players to let Villa run in an immediate equaliser.
Tyrone Mings and Aston Villa make the trip to Elland Road to face Leeds United on Sunday
Villa boss Steven Gerrard has been impressed with Mings’ reaction since he lost his captaincy
Mings claimed the bragging rights last season by helping Gerrard’s side 3-0 in Yorkshire in March despite a barrage of abuse from the stands.
Whatever happens, it will certainly be noisy and Gerrard, who made the difficult decision to replace Mings as captain in the closing season, made it clear that he expected the 29-year-old to seize the opportunity.
“If I were Tyrone Mings, I’d be really looking forward to the weekend,” he said. “I hope the glove comes again, because that should motivate you.
“Tyrone was excellent there last year. He kept a clean slate, puffed out his chest, and walked down Elland Road. That’s all he has to think about. He’s been great lately.
“We have seen that he is almost back to his best. We know he has incredible qualities. We all know that a tough decision earlier in the season was against him and that was up to me.
Mings was left out of Gareth Southgate’s England squad for Italy and Germany matches
“He rolled up his sleeves. It actually got him closer to his best form and that was the idea behind it.”
The match in Leeds follows an international match in which England manager Gareth Southgate dropped Mings from the squad to give Fikayo Tomori and Marc Guehi additional experience in the run-up to next month’s World Cup final.
Southgate explained the pair were “a bit ahead” of Mings, but Gerrard backed his man to change his mind before the final roster.
Gerrard believes there is still time for Mings to regain his place in England for the World Cup
“I followed the games in England very closely and there was one player in my mind through them,” he said.
“I’m sure Tyrone would have thought the same – that if he keeps this form, he’ll play for me.
“He doesn’t just go into the team, he plays. If he brings his best features and maintains his form, Tyrone in a back three can definitely play on that team. He has all the props in his locker.’