On-loan Bournemouth defender has had enough injury setbacks to realise nothing is certain in football as he looks to rebuild his career at Villa Park
By Graham Hill
TYRONE MINGS admits he no longer takes football for granted.
After three knee operations and making around 20 appearances in four years, the on-loan Bournemouth defender is just happy to get a game and be injury-free.
Mings is set for his first Second City Derby as Aston Villa head to St Andrew’s to face Garry Monk’s Birmingham.
And fans’ favourite Mings hopes he can help steer Villa into the play-offs after joining from the Cherries on deadline day in January.
But as for what happens at the end of the season, Mings has learned not to plan too far ahead.
Mings said: “I probably took my success for granted in the first four years of my career. Everything was positive.
“I signed for Ipswich almost overnight from being a mortgage adviser and playing for Chippenham. Back then I wanted to be a hedge fund manager – I had big dreams back then too!
“Thinking back to those days I had big dreams then too.”
But Mings was brought crashing back to earth when he took his football career to the next level.
He said: “I didn’t know setbacks or failure in football.
“I had a lot of plans back in the day before I got injured.
“In terms of goals and ambitions.
“But I still have the same dreams and the same goals. They’re just not my main focus right now, my focus is the short term.
“I’ve been injured enough times not to look too far in advance.
“I did my medial and cruciate knee ligament at the same time. I had three operations on one knee then a stress fracture on my back
“Now, every game I come through healthy is another positive. I don’t think I’ve played more than 20 league games in four years.
“To be that restricted in being able to do your job is frustrating.
“I just want to play football, I haven’t been able to do that for the past few years. But now, to be at such a big club as Villa and playing consistently is all I can ask.
“I think it’s showing in my performances how passionate I am about playing.
“I’ve not played enough football and the amount of football I wanted to.
“I know life could’ve been very different.”
Now Mings is focused on his first Villa-Birmingham game.
He said: “I’m looking forward to the hostility which I’m sure we’re going to face and going into it on the back of a good result.
“It’s not nice when you lose a derby, as I did with Ipswich against Norwich.
“There’s a lot more riding on it, not necessarily for us, but for a lot of other people, there’s a feeling of dejection around the town.
“The fans want you to hurt as much as we do.
“But I don’t have a clue what will happen at the end of the season, but I enjoy it at Villa.”