Tyrone Mings tells Norwich City fans – ‘abuse me all you want’

The Sky Bet Championship
Ipswich Town v Leeds United - Portman Road, Ipswich - 6 Dec 2014

The Sky Bet Championship Ipswich Town v Leeds United - Portman Road, Ipswich - 6 Dec 2014 Ipswich Town's Tyrone Mings - Credit: Ashley Pickering

Promotion places, bragging rights and revenge – the stakes are high as Ipswich Town head to Carrow Road for the most significant East Anglian derby in years (tomorrow, 2.05pm ko). STUART WATSON spoke to Blues left-back Tyrone Mings about crowd abuse, goal celebrations and memories of a rivalry with Mangotsfield.

Hi Ty. First of all, you must have enjoyed scoring your first goal in professional football on Tuesday night?

A: I did, yeah. The celebrations were kind of cut short by Tommy Smith though weren’t they? I think my shot at Fulham being stopped the way it was (an incredible goalline clearance) felt like a sign that I wasn’t going to score all season, so it was great to finally get off the mark.

I think Chambo (Luke Chambers) was the other defender to have gone a while without scoring and he popped up with one against Sheffield Wednesday, so the pressure was then on me to break my duck.

Q: What was the planned celebration before Tommy dragged you to the floor?

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A: I don’t know! There was no somersault planned or anything like that! If I score on Sunday I might crack something out. I’ll have to think about something and keep it as a surprise.

Q: Your first East Anglian derby match at Carrow Road. How are you feeling?

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A: I’m looking forward to it, I can’t wait. These are the days you want to be involved in as a player. Everyone knows what local derbies mean and the history between the two clubs. As a footballer you just try and put that to the back of your mind though and be as professional as you can.

Q: Are you prepared to take a bit of stick of their fans?

A: Yeah – that’s brilliant! They can give me as much abuse as they want. I love it.

Q: Really?

A: Absolutely. They can give me as much abuse as they want, as long as we get three points, they can say as much as they want.

Fans will try and rile us, I’m sure, just as ours probably did to their players down here. That’s just part and parcel of the game. They pay their money and they can chant what they want.

Q: Actually, I seem to remember you having a few words with opposition supporters at a game earlier in the season...

A: Yeah, it was at Bournemouth. One of their strikers went down injured and I sat on the billboard having a little drink. I don’t think they like it when you get that close! It was the typical imaginative comments.

Q: What were your derby matches in non-league then?

A: It was Chippenham-Bath when I was at Chippenham, but I never played in one though because they were in the Conference South when I was in the Evo Stick Premier. I went to a couple of those games though, they were always lively.

Before that it was Yate against Mangotsfield. We played on Boxing Day at Mangotsfield and they were hyping it up as a big derby. Even at that level there is added spice. You just know that the fans want it that bit more.

It’s a funny one, you get less people tweeting you at that level, but you can hear more of what people are actually shouting during the game.

Q: You know as players, even those not from the area, how much this game means to the fans then?

A: Of course. I live in Ipswich and you go out for food and people say ‘good luck on Saturday, but just make sure you beat Norwich in a few weeks’ time’. It’s always at the forefront of peoples’ minds and now the game is here that’s all anyone wants to talk about.

I got a message the other day from one fan saying they wouldn’t mind if we lost twice against Norwich as long as we go up. Then I got another one from someone saying they would rather we beat Norwich than go up.

Q: How far has this team come since the 1-0 defeat to Norwich at Portman Road?

A: It was all doom and gloom after that. We hadn’t started the season very well and I think if anyone had said that the next time the game comes around we’d be above Norwich and in third position no-one wouldn’t have believed them.

“That defeat kick-started something though. We’ve come on leaps and bounds as a team and go into this one full of confidence.

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