By Graham Hill
ASTON Villa boss Dean Smith admitted John Terry played a huge part in Tyrone Mings earning his first England call up.
Mings has only played three Premier League games for Villa since completing a £20million move from Bournemouth this summer.
But England boss Gareth Southgate saw him in action in the 2-0 win over Everton last Friday and brought him into the squad.
Mings has been working with former England skipper Terry who is in his second season as a coach at Villa Park.
And Smith said the influence he has had on Mings, 26, is clear.
The Villa boss told reporters: “It’s a really tight relationship with JT.
“He has a tight relationship with all defenders and he works closely with them, little details to help them. There’s progression in all our defensive displays this season.
“Tyrone can take credit for his performances but JT can take credit for the work he has done on the training ground.”
Smith says he raised an eyebrow when Bournemouth wanted to do a £26.5million deal, including add ons, this summer.
But now he says Mings was a ‘snip’
Smith added: “I said when we signed I thought it was a really tough negotiations with Bournemouth.
“They knew we wanted yo sign him, they knew he wanted to come so they could drive a hard bargain.
“At the time I thought we were paying over the odds but it was a deal worth doing because we wanted him so badly. We knew what a player he could become.
“He also had a great relationship with the staff, players and supporters.
“I thought it was a tough one to pay but one well worth paying. When you look at the market after that and what some teams have paid it looks a snip that’s for sure.”
Mings said he thought it was a joke when he was told he was in the squad.
The Villa defender admitted: “I thought it was a prank when I first found out.
“I got a text when I came in from training from the England player liaison officer, Emily her name is. I text back saying: ‘Oh s**t.’ Excuse my language. She then called me and said: ‘I’m not joking.’ It was only when I spoke to her on the phone, I knew it was genuine.
“Obviously I am delighted. It has been a long journey to get to this point. Everyone has their own journey. There are people in the England squad that have come from non-league too. It probably makes it a little bit sweeter. But every English players dream is to be called up into the national squad.
“I’m fully aware of the history of the club, the great players who have come before me and played for England. Hopefully I get a chance to play.
“JT gave me a pat on the back. As I have said previously, he is such a great person to learn from. The work he does to help me improve as a defender has been absolutely tremendous.”