Tyrone Mings has revealed he saw a psychiatrist during Euro 2020 as he struggled with mental health issues during the England campaign.
The Aston Villa and Three Lions center-back said he felt 95% of the country doubted him, but was told on talkSPORT to be “proud” of his performance and how he behaved throughout the tournament.
Mings started alongside Gareth Southgate in their first two Euros games against Croatia and Scotland, but was later replaced by Harry Magure after the Manchester United man recovered from an ankle injury.
He was then limited to the bench for the remainder of the tournament, with Maguire playing every minute of England’s run to the final after returning from injury.
The decision was not the fault of Mings, who put in two strong performances in two big games to open England’s summer campaign.
But the 28-year-old admitted his sanity had “collapsed” during the competition, especially in preparation for the Three Lions’ opener.
Speaking in an interview with The Sun, Mings said: “I had a tough time heading into the opener against Croatia.
“I think I’m a lot tougher on outside influences now, but my sanity has plummeted. And I have no shame in admitting it because there were so many unknowns about me going to this game.
“I was probably the only name on the roster that people thought, ‘I’m not sure about him.’ And that was something I had to overcome.
“When 90% to 95% of your country has doubts about you, it is very difficult to keep it from interfering with your own thoughts.
“So I worked a lot on this with my psychologist. It was hard. I didn’t sleep very well before this first game.
Mings praised Simone Biles, the American gymnastics star who made headlines at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics by withdrawing from several events to protect her sanity.
English all-rounder Ben Stokes is also taking an indefinite hiatus from cricket to protect his well-being.
Mings said, “It’s just great that we were playing in an age where you can talk about mental health and how you feel.
“We saw with Simone Biles that you can talk about how you feel and hopefully you feel supported by a lot of people.”
Rio Ferdinand was one of the main voices to question Mings in his role as tournament expert, but Mings said he received messages of support from the Man United legend after the Euros campaign.
Ferdinand has reached out to the Villa star to praise his performance and his response to Home Secretary Priti Patel’s dismissal from England, taking the knee as ‘gestural politics’.
When Patel tweeted his “disgust” at the online abuse of Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka after their missed shots on goal in the final, Mings wrote: “You can’t stoke the fire at the start of the tournament by tagging our anti-racist message as “politics of gestures” and then pretend to be disgusted when the very thing we are campaigning against happens. “
Mings added in his interview: “Rio sent me a DM after the tournament. He said I was the weak link and Croatia should target me.
“He texted me saying something like ‘First class response – matches your performance in the field.’ What a lovely guy. ”
Host and talkSPORT expert Tony Cascarino said Ferdinand was perhaps a little too personal in his review of Mings.
But he believes that criticism can inspire players to perform and that Mings should be ‘proud’ of his performance and conduct at Euro as he has played a supporting role behind the scenes.
“Being an expert is a huge responsibility and you have to be careful there is a line you can cross,” Cascarino said on the Breakfast talkSPORT.
“I think the worst thing you can do is be personal in your reviews.
“You can tell Rio got a little personal, but he did the right thing by texting Tyrone Mings to explain, and he was fine.
“If Mings felt 95% of the country was behind him, he should be very proud of his performances against Croatia and Scotland.”