Mick McCarthy has no concerns about pitching Tyrone Mings into the action
- Credit: James Ager
If there is one thing you can guarantee with Tyrone Mings it’s that he’ll leave it all on the pitch.
The 20-year-old’s fairytale football story will continue today when he starts for Ipswich Town in a Championship match at Blackpool, replacing the suspended Aaron Cresswell at left-back.
This time last year, he was playing at Step Three of the non-league pyramid with Wiltshire-based side Chippenham Town and working as a mortgage broker.
His surprise move to Portman Road was certainly a case of being in the right place at the right time, Town academy coach Russell Osman having heard about him because his son Toby was a Chippenham player and manager Mick McCarthy arriving at his trial game just in time to see a thunderous challenge.
Admitting that he ‘wakes up every day grateful for the chance to be a professional footballer’, Mings – released by Southampton as a 16-year-old for being ‘too small’ (he’s now an imposing 6ft 4in) – is determined to make the most of his second chance.
The way he came through Town’s opening game of the season, a 2-1 defeat at Reading, is certainly proof of that.
“I had a bit of tonsillitis in the build up to that game,” he explains. “I was in hospital on the Tuesday until about four o’clock in the morning, then a few days later, I think on the Thursday, I came in and my hip flexor was sore.
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“Adrenaline got me through the game.”
That’s something of an understatement. Mings suffered a medial ligament tear to his knee in the 20th minute of that match but somehow played through the pain barrier to finish the match, coping well with Reading’s array of wing talent.
A two-month spell on the sidelines followed and now, having made his debut at Burnley on the final day of last season, his opportunity to start has come around again. This afternoon he’ll be directly up against arguably the division’s best right-winger in Tom Ince.
“There will be a few nerves, but more excitement than anything,” said Mings, who is also in line to play in the home game against Leicester following next weekend’s international break.
“It will be good to test myself against one of the best wingers in the league, but I don’t fear playing against anyone. You can’t go into a game worrying about what other people are going to do, you have to believe in your own abilities.”
Blues boss McCarthy said: “Ty will be fine, I have no worries about that. He made an impression on me from day one and he’s continued to do so. He’s a bright, intelligent young fella and he loves his football. He’s a proper competitor, so let’s hope he plays well now I’ve talked him up.”
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