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Tyrone Mings: 'We must be streetwise at Euro 2020'

Tyrone Mings: 'We must be streetwise at Euro 2020'
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The 28-year-old Aston Villa defender is in contention to start against Croatia on Sunday.

Tyrone Mings believes England need to be streetwise at the European Championship to counter rival nations being "masters at the dark arts".

The Aston Villa defender is in contention to start England's Euro 2020 opener against Croatia at Wembley on Sunday.

Mings, 28, picked up his 10th cap in Sunday's 1-0 warm-up win over Romania and with fitness concerns over Harry Maguire he could retain his place this weekend.

Tyrone Mings
Tyrone Mings believes England need to be more streetwise (Nick Potts/PA)

After being caught on cameras hitting Austria forward Sasa Kalajdzic with his forearm in last week's friendly, Mings suggested England need to sometimes blur the line when it comes to following the rules.

Asked if there is something to be said about being streetwise, Mings replied: "Football is very soft these days, you cannot get away with much.

"Like you say, if there had have been VAR, absolutely I would have given away a penalty.

"As a defender, I have done that many times in my career. When a cross is about to come in, block the striker. That is not against the rules. But that one (on Kalajdzic) there was probably too aggressive.

"But being streetwise is a huge part of the game. You look at other nations and they are masters at the dark arts – staying on the floor for longer than needed, delaying restarts.

"Being streetwise is also sometimes what gets you over the edge because it winds up the opposition and breaks up their flow and their rhythm."

Mings defended his actions in the Kalajdzic incident and says he would not have been caught out by VAR, had it been in operation during the friendly at the Riverside Stadium.

"Not lucky, no, because I knew there wasn't VAR," he said when asked if he was lucky the clash went unnoticed by the officials.

Gareth Southgate
England manager Gareth Southgate could have a selection headache in defence (Nick Potts/PA)

When it was put to him that he would have been sent off if it had happened in a match at the Euros, Mings added: "Yeah but it wasn't, was it, so we can go back through many different occasions in my career and you could say if there was VAR in that game, I would have got sent off."

England boss Gareth Southgate will certainly be hoping that Mings does not get caught out if he opts to play the centre-back against Croatia.

Whether he is in the team or not, Mings insists he will still not be the story. He said: "(The spotlight is) Not on me. It's on Harry and whether or not he will play.

"If he is not fit and somebody else plays, we will take that as it comes on the day and prepare accordingly.

"But I don't feel there is more of a spotlight on me because I don't know if I would play even if he were not fit. I am just in the shadows trying to help prepare as much as possible."

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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States98825
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia77418
Great BritainGreat Britain45413
Today's Olympic highlights header

Wednesday's key events

· Team GB have dominated the men's coxless fours in recent Olympics, winning on each of the last five occasions, but this year they face some stiff competition. They are one of four rowing medal contenders for Great Britain today (2.10am)

· Katie Ledecky and Ariarne Titmus face off again in the women's 200m freestyle final, with the latter having already come out on top in the 400m event (2.41am)
· Team GB's Abbie Wood is among the medal contenders in the women's 200m individual medley final, while teammate Alicia Wilson will also take part. USA's Kate Douglass was the fastest qualifier, while world and Olympic record holder Katinka Hosszu is also involved (3.45am)
· Katie Ledecky could make it two golds in one morning as she goes into the 1500m freestyle final as heavy favourite, having broken the Olympic record in qualifying (3.54am)
· Team GB were by far the fastest qualifiers for the men's 4x200m freestyle relay final and will therefore be favourites for another gold in the pool (4.26am)

· Team GB take on New Zealand in the first men's semi-final, having been beaten by reigning champions Fiji but then come from behind to overcome USA on day two (3am)
· The sevens gold medal match takes place at Tokyo Stadium, with the winner of Great Britain vs. New Zealand taking on either Argentina or Fiji (10am)

· Joe Fraser and James Hall compete for Team GB in the men's all-around final (3.15am-6.10am)

· Anna Shackley will take part in the women's road time trial (from 3.30am)
· Geraint Thomas and Tao Geoghegan Hart have medal ambitions for Great Britain in the men's road time trial, although both will need to recover from the crash they suffered on Saturday (6am)

· Jack Laugher bids to retain his men's 3m synchro diving title alongside new partner Daniel Goodfellow (7am)

· Charlotte Dujardin will look to add to her already legendary status with a third successive Olympic individual dressage title (9.30am-1.25pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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