By Phil Jennings
TAMMY Abraham and Tyrone Mings have highlighted John Terry’s hugely influential role behind the scenes at Villa.
Terry joined the club’s coaching staff this season after captaining Villa to last season’s Championship Play-Off Final.
And top scorer Abraham’s decision to come to Villa on loan from Chelsea had a lot to do with the Stamford Bridge legend.
Abraham told Sky Sports: “He was on the phone to me every day as soon as he heard the link.
”He told me it was such a good club and I would love it here, and he was right.
“Even though he doesn’t play in my position, he’s always supported me and he has been a massive role model for me.”
And on-loan Bournemouth defender Mings says working with Terry has been a huge boost.
Mings said: ”I’m always learning from him. He’s a defender who a lot of people would have in their all-time Premier League XI, so the opportunity to work with him was a huge factor in me coming here.
“After every game we sit down and watch clips of my performance, assessing what I did well and what I can improve. The best defenders are the ones you don’t always notice, keeping clean sheets and trying to remain under the radar, letting the strikers get all the adulation!
“He’s been a huge help for me.”
Abraham will come face to face with two more Chelsea loanees at Wembley as Villa battle for a place in the Premier League with Derby.
The Rams have midfielder Mason Mount and defender Fikayo Tomori in their side on loan from Stamford Bridge.
But Abraham promises there will be no contact with the Derby camp before the game.
The Villa striker said: ”I’ve just kept my distance. We know it’s a massive game for both teams and for me it’s about focusing on Aston Villa. They’ve had fantastic seasons at Derby but hopefully I can have the last laugh.”
Mings says Villa cannot allow their previous wins over Derby this season – 3-0 and 4-0 – to influence their preparartions.
The defender said: ”They’re full of talent and you can’t get to this stage of the season if you’re not a good team.
”They have a lot of spirit and you have to be a threat to score four goals at Elland Road.
“They have a manager who is a winner and players in the dressing room who have won stuff before, but we feel we are in a good position to counter anything they can throw at us. It will be a great game of football for the neutral. But hopefully one we will deal with.”