Steven Gerrard says he ‘never doubted’ ex-captain Tyrone Mings and praises ‘selfless’ Ollie Watkins as star of Aston Villa couple back in win over Everton


Steven Gerrard has told talkSPORT he “never doubted” Tyrone Mings who returned after losing the Aston Villa captaincy to help beat Everton 2-1.

England international Mings was dismissed as club captain ahead of the season, replaced by John McGinn and then dropped to the bench for their Premier League opener.

Mings came back and put on a solid display
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Steven Gerrard says he 'never doubted' ex-captain Tyrone Mings and praises 'selfless' Ollie Watkins as star of Aston Villa couple back in win over Everton
Gerrard was thrilled with both Mings and Watkins
Getty

The 29-year-old lost £26million on summer signing Diego Carlos for Villa’s opener loss to Bournemouth but started against Everton, making a crucial late intervention to prevent the scoreline turning 2-2 .

However, Gerrard explained that Mings only started the opener on the bench due to a minor injury, with his talent never in doubt.

“The away side made a big deal about it,” the Villa boss said. “I understand because when you change captains, I expect that noise.

“But nobody ever doubted or said that Tyrone Mings got out of the team or was dropped.

“He was injured last week, we benched him because we could afford to bench him and it was a light injury, and if needed in an emergency he could have been ready.

“As for the noise that is made from outside, I can’t control it. He arrived today and he performed very well. There were a few moments as a defensive unit that we can learn from but overall we’ve always defended so well.

Steven Gerrard says he 'never doubted' ex-captain Tyrone Mings and praises 'selfless' Ollie Watkins as star of Aston Villa couple back in win over Everton
Mings saved Villa from dropping two points with a final intervention on the breath
btsport


“I inherited Tyrone as captain and it was too early to make these decisions, I needed to analyze the group.

“Tyrone has fantastic qualities as a centre-back, he’s an international player, he’s important for us, but I wanted to put my stamp on it.

“I have the right to make my own decisions, I will live and die by those decisions.

“There’s been a lot of noise around that, that’s understandable, but it’s certainly not me because nobody ever doubted Tyrone as a player, nobody ever doubted him.”

Liverpool legend Gerrard overcame former rivals Everton thanks to goals from Danny Ings and Emiliano Buendia, both set up by striker Watkins.

Steven Gerrard says he 'never doubted' ex-captain Tyrone Mings and praises 'selfless' Ollie Watkins as star of Aston Villa couple back in win over Everton
Watkins’ assist at Buendia was pure class
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Like Mings, Watkins was also benched for the league opener, but Gerrard was full of praise for his performance at Villa Park.

“I thought his performance was selfless today,” he said.

“His run behind, he was unlucky not to score, he got a fantastic assist.

“Ollie Watkins optimized everything we did today.”

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