"I think I'm a lot more hardened to outside influences now, but my mental health did plummet," said Tyrone Mings, who filled in for Harry Maguire for England's first two matches. "I was probably the only name on the team-sheet that people thought, 'Not sure about him'."
Monday 2 August 2021 00:05, UK
Aston Villa defender Tyrone Mings has revealed he saw a psychologist during England's Euro 2020 campaign because his "mental health plummeted".
Mings, who was standing in for an injured Harry Maguire in England's first two group games against Croatia and Scotland, felt overwhelmed by the pressure in the build-up to the tournament.
The 28-year-old was struggling with supporters and pundits questioning his credentials as one of the few players in the England line-up without tournament or Champions League experience.
"I did have a tough time in the lead-up to the opening game against Croatia," Mings told The Sun.
"I think I'm a lot more hardened to outside influences now, but my mental health did plummet. And I have no shame in admitting that because there were so many unknowns about me going to that game.
"I was probably the only name on the teamsheet that people thought, 'Not sure about him'. And that was something I had to overcome.
"When 90-95 per cent of your country are having doubts over you, it's very difficult to stop this intruding on your own thoughts.
"So I did a lot of work on that with my psychologist. I was given a lot of coping mechanisms - whether it was breathing, meditation, or just learning how to bring yourself into the present moment. To stop letting your subconscious take over.
"It was hard. I didn't really sleep very well before that first game."