Tyrone Mings reveals he sought help from a psychologist after his mental health ‘plummeted’ before playing for England against Croatia at Euro 2020 and used meditation and breathing techniques to cope with the pressure
- Tyrone Mings started for England in their opening two games at Euro 2020
- The Aston Villa defender revealed he needed therapy during the competition
- Mings found it difficult ahead of England’s opening group game against Croatia
- He has said it was tough with large part of the fanbase having doubts over him
Tyrone Mings has revealed he needed therapy during England’s Euro 2020 campaign, saying that his mental health ‘plummeted’ before their opener against Croatia.
The Aston Villa defender deputised for the injured Harry Maguire in the Three Lions’ opening two group games against Croatia and Scotland.
Mings has revealed he found it tough with ’90-95%’ of the country having ‘doubts’ over him going into the Croatia game which Gareth Southgate’s men won 1-0.
Tyrone Mings has revealed his mental health ‘plummeted’ before England’s opening game
Mings deputised for Maguire and recalls ‘doubts’ fans had over his place in the starting line-up
As reported by the Sun, Mings said: ‘I did have a tough time in the lead-up to the opening game against Croatia.
‘I think I’m a lot more hardened to outside influences now, but my mental health did plummet.
‘And I have no shame in admitting that because there was so many unknowns about me going to that game.
‘I was probably the only name on the teamsheet that people thought, “Not sure about him”. And that was something I had to overcome.
‘When 90-95 per cent of your country are having doubts over you, it’s very difficult to stop this intruding on your own thoughts.
‘So I did a lot of work on that with my psychologist. I was given a lot of coping mechanisms – whether it was breathing, meditation, or just learning how to bring yourself into the present moment. To stop letting your subconscious take over.
‘It was hard. I didn’t really sleep very well before that first game.’
Mings also made reference to comments made by BBC pundit Rio Ferdinand before the Croatia match.
Ferdinand said regarding Mings ahead of the game: ‘I think it’s the weakest part of our team, and an area where most people are concerned.
‘He has not played Champions League football, he has not played at this level.’
Mings has revealed the techniques he used to help him deal with the pressure at the Euros
Mings revealed Ferdinand later contacted him in private to praise him for his performance, as well as for a reply he made to Home Secretary Priti Patel over Twitter.
Following the racism that teammates Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho were subject to after the final, Patel had tweeted: ‘I am disgusted that @England players who have given so much for our country this summer have been subject to vile racist abuse on social media.
‘It has no place in our country and I back the police to hold those responsible accountable.’
Mings had responded: ‘You don’t get to stoke the fire at the beginning of the tournament by labelling our anti-racism message as ‘Gesture Politics’ & then pretend to be disgusted when the very thing we’re campaigning against, happens.’
Rio Ferdinand contacted Mings to praise him for his performances after the tournament
The Aston Villa defender said about Ferdinand’s message: ‘Rio DM’d me after the tournament. He’d said I was the weak link, and that Croatia should be targeting me.
‘He messaged me saying something like, “Top-class response – matched your performances on the pitch.” What a lovely guy.
‘It’s just great that we are playing in a time now when you can speak about mental health, and how you are feeling.’
His comments come a year after he filmed a BBC documentary with Prince William as part of the royal family member’s Head’s Up campaign – which raises awareness around mental health.
Before the Euros, Mings had made just ten international appearances for the senior Three Lions squad.
Despite some public doubt over Mings’ inclusion in the starting line-up, the Aston Villa defender impressed as he kept clean sheets in the victory over Croatia and the goalless draw against Scotland.
Mings had impressed in both of the games in which he stood in for the injured Harry Maguire