‘He needs to look me in the eye and show that he’s ready to play’: Steven Gerrard lays down the gauntlet to Tyrone Mings after he stripped him of the Aston Villa captaincy and dropped him for season opener
- Gerrard handed the captain’s armband to John McGinn ahead of the season
- But Mings was then an unused substitute in 2-0 defeat to Bournemouth
- Villa’s manager said he challenged Mings to get back to his consistent best
- They host Everton this Saturday as they look for their first Premier League points
Steven Gerrard will only restore Tyrone Mings to the Aston Villa side when the defender ‘looks him in the eye and shows that he’s ready to play.’
Villa’s manager stripped the England international of the captain’s armband in pre-season and appointed John McGinn in his place.
Mings, 29, was also an unused substitute as Villa lost their Premier League season opener 2-0 at Bournemouth on Saturday.
England defender Tyrone Mings was stripped of the Aston Villa captaincy during pre-season
Villa manager Steven Gerrard has challenged Mings to show consistency to regain his place
Explaining those calls, Gerrard told BBC Radio WM: ‘When I made the decision over the captaincy, I set him that challenge.
‘We said to Tyrone “if you get back to your consistent best, you’ll be back in the team.”‘
When Gerrard made the decision, Mings took to Twitter to say he had ‘no issues with the manager’s decision.’
But when asked if Mings’ omission from Saturday’s team at the Vitality Stadium was down to his reaction to losing the armband, Gerrard added: ‘It’s a little bit of that.
‘He also missed some training time with an injury and there’s a niggle in the background as well.
Mings was an unused substitute as Villa lost their Premier League opener at Bournemouth
Mings backed his manager’s decision to take away the armband on social media last month
‘When Tyrone is back at his best and looks me in the eye and shows that he’s ready to play, he’ll get opportunities.’
Villa slipped to defeat against the newly-promoted Cherries, courtesy of goals by Jefferson Lerma after only two minutes and Kieffer Moore late on.
Asked if the team missed the influence of Mings, Gerrard said: ‘I think people might talk about that.
Villa slumped to an opening day defeat as they lost 2-0 to newly-promoted Bournemouth
‘The easy thing to do after a defeat is look at the people who weren’t on the pitch.
‘We had enough quality on the pitch to win that game. I’m confident of that.’
Villa have the chance to get their first points on the board when they entertain Everton on Saturday lunchtime.
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