Date: 21st February 2019 at 4:00pm
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Dean Smith was full of praise for Tyrone Mings, calling the on-loan centre-back a “good footballer” and saying he has “leadership qualities”. Mings joined until the end of the season from Bournemouth and has impressed in every game he’s been a part of. The 25-year-old has made four appearances for Villa and is expected to start against Stoke City on Saturday afternoon.

When asked how pleased he’d been with Mings’ form this season, Smith said in Thursday’s pre-match press conference: “Yea, I said it before he came here, he’s Premier League player. An awful lot of questions about the amount of games he’s played over the last year or two, but last season he had spells where he’d been injured and this season he’s just not been picked by the manager.

“I believed we had a player coming here who’s got leadership qualities, he’s a good footballer and a good defender. And I think he’s proving all of them so far during the games he’s played. He’ll get better and better the more games he has.”

Mings has endured bad luck with injuries at Bournemouth, and the time he spent sidelined meant he fell down the pecking order under Eddie Howe. He was the subject of interest from many clubs in January before eventually choosing to join Villa and things have gone well on a personal note ever since.

The club’s form has been an issue, however, as they come into Saturday’s meeting without a win in their last four games. Villa’s defensive record has also been worrying – 52 goals conceded in 33 games – so Mings has his work cut out to stem the tide and get the Midlands outfit back on the hunt for the playoffs.

Crippy Cooke’s previous article

Injured Aston Villa player returning in March, could be available to play in five weeks

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