England's Tyrone Mings not expected to take up FA counselling
Mings "fine" to play for Aston Villa vs Brighton on Saturday
By James Dale
Last Updated: 17/10/19 2:39pm
Tyrone Mings is not expected to take up an FA offer for counselling after he was racially abused on his England debut in Bulgaria, says Aston Villa manager Dean Smith.
Mings, 26, was one of several England players to report the abuse to match officials of the European Qualifier, which had to be halted twice in the first half.
England manager Gareth Southgate called Mings an "outstanding leader" after the match.
"It doesn't surprise me how he handled the whole situation," said Smith, who signed Mings on loan from Bournemouth before completing a £20m permanent deal in the summer.
"When we go and look at players and speak to them we know what they're going to bring football-wise, but it's that personality, character that you're looking to find out about.
"Me and John Terry went to meet him and he impressed us.
"He's articulate, intelligent and a very good human being as well."
The FA offered counselling to England's players following the match in Sofia but asked if Mings would participate, Smith said: "I wouldn't expect it knowing Tyrone."
'If they walk off that pitch Tyrone loses his debut'
England players opted against a pre-match plan to walk off the pitch under a UEFA protocol after two tannoy announcements warning the game would be abandoned if racist chants continued were ignored inside the Vasil Levski Stadium.
Smith believes the team were right to stay on and complete the match, which ended in a 6-0 win for England.
"If they walk off that pitch Tyrone loses his debut, the people who have scored lose their goals," he said. "Who is the winner in all of that?
I don't see many left-footed defenders who are as good as Tyrone at the moment.
"Obviously Tyrone made it known to the official he was being abused, the next step forward is that the people who are being abused - it shouldn't be them making it known, it should be people around who aren't getting abused making it known to the authorities or even delegates who are there."
The Villa boss said Mings' long-term England future is down to Southgate, but that he "doesn't see many left-footed defenders who are as good as Tyrone at the moment".
Mings is "fine" and looking forward to playing for Villa against Brighton on Saturday, according to Smith.
A banner displaying Mings, along with the word 'Proud', will be displayed at Villa Park for the match after supporters raised money for a flag.
Earlier this season Villa condemned "disgusting" footage of supporters chanting a racist song making reference to two first-team players, but Smith insists their fans "know what's right or wrong".
"We're a football club where there's no colour," he said.