Tyrone Mings believes England should be wise at the European Championships to counter rival nations who are “masters of black magic”.
The Aston Villa defender is in the running 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 victory over Romania and, with fitness issues concerning Harry Maguire, he could hold onto his spot this weekend.
After being filmed slamming Austria striker Sasa Kalajdzic with his forearm during last week’s friendly, Mings suggested England sometimes had to muddy the waters when it came to following the rules .
When asked if there was anything to say about being on the streets, Mings replied: “Football is really sweet these days, you can’t get away with big- thing.
“As you say, if there had been VAR, I would have absolutely given a penalty.
“As a defender I’ve done this several times in my career. When a cross is about to come in, block the attacker. It’s not against the rules. But this 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 of the dark arts – staying on the floor longer than necessary, delaying reboots.
“Being streetwise is also sometimes what gets you overwhelmed because it coils up opposition and breaks their flow and rhythm.”
Mings defended his actions during the Kalajdzic incident and said he would not have been at fault by the VAR, had he been on duty in the friendly at Riverside Stadium.
“Bad luck, no, because I knew there was no VAR,” he said when asked if he was lucky the clash went unnoticed by the officials.
When told he would have been sent off if it had happened in a Euro game, Mings added: and you could say if there had been VAR in that game, I would have been kicked out. “
England boss Gareth Southgate is certainly hoping Mings won’t get caught if he chooses to play center-back against Croatia.
Whether he’s on the team or not, Mings insists he still won’t be history. He said: “[The spotlight is] not on me. It’s about Harry and whether or not he’ll play.
“If he’s not in good shape and someone else is playing, we’ll take that as the day goes on and prepare accordingly.
“But I don’t think there’s more attention on me because I don’t know if I would play even if he wasn’t in good shape. I’m just in the shadows trying to help out. prepare as much as possible. “