Steven Gerrard says Tyrone Mings should relish Elland Road gauntlet as Aston Villa visit Leeds with the defender backed to reclaim his England place after Gareth Southgate left him out his latest squad
- Aston Villa visit Elland Road on Sunday to play Leeds United in Premier League
- Defender Tyrone Mings is often singled out for a barrage of abuse from stands
- His manager Steven Gerrard is confident Mings will rise to the occasion
- Gerrard also believe it isn’t too late to claim a World Cup place for England
Steven Gerrard is backing Tyrone Mings to beat the barrackers at Leeds on Sunday and send Gareth Southgate a timely reminder.
The Aston Villa defender is the man the Elland Road faithful make sure gets a hard time whenever he turns up.
And the fixture itself took on extra edge when Leeds scored a controversial goal in 2019 and then-manager Marcelo Bielsa ordered his players to let Villa walk in an instant equaliser.
Tyrone Mings and Aston Villa make the trip to Elland Road to take on Leeds United on Sunday
Villa boss Steven Gerrard has been impressed with Mings’ reaction since losing the captaincy
Mings claimed the bragging rights last season by helping Gerrard’s side to a 3-0 win in Yorkshire in March despite a barrage of abuse from the stands.
Whatever happens it is certain to be loud and Gerrard, who made the tough decision to replace Mings as captain in the close season, made it clear he expected the 29-year-old to rise to the occasion.
‘If I was Tyrone Mings I’d be really looking forward to the weekend,’ he said. ‘I’d be hoping the gauntlet will be coming again because that should motivate you.
‘Tyrone was outstanding there last year. He kept a clean sheet, puffed his chest out and walked out of Elland Road. That’s the only thing that should be on his mind. He’s been terrific of late.
‘We’ve seen him close to being back to his best. We know he’s got incredible attributes. We all know a tough decision went against him earlier in the season and that was on me.
Mings was left out of Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the Italy and Germany games
‘He’s rolled his sleeves up, it’s actually put him closer to his best form and that was the idea behind it.’
The Leeds game follows an international break that saw England manager Gareth Southgate leave Mings out of the squad, to give Fikayo Tomori and Marc Guehi extra experience ahead of the World Cup finals next month.
Southgate explained that the pair were ‘slightly ahead’ of Mings but Gerrard backed his man to change his mind before the final selection.
Gerrard believes there is still time for Mings to reclaim his England place for the World Cup
‘I watched the England games really closely and there was one player on my mind through them,’ he said.
‘I know for a fact that Tyrone would have been thinking the same – that if he keeps this form up, for me, he plays.
‘He doesn’t just go in the squad, he plays. If he brings his best attributes and keeps his form, in a back three, Tyrone can play in that team, for sure. He’s got all of the attributes in his locker.’