Tyrone Mings has been praised by fans after he revealed his mental health “plummeted” ahead of England’s opening Euro 2020 match.

The Aston Villa defender was in Gareth Southgate’s starting line up for the first two games against Croatia and Scotland, due to Harry Maguire still recovering from an ankle injury.

Mings revealed toThe Sun that he had a “tough time” in the lead-up to the opening game against Croatia.

He told the publication: “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 was 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. It was hard. I didn’t really sleep very well before that first game.”

Mings along with his England teammates, were able to keep a clean sheet both in their 1-0 victory against Croatia and later their 0-0 draw against Scotland.

The 28-year-old has been widely praised for speaking out - with former heavyweight boxing champion and mental health ambassador, Frank Bruno MBE, praising Mings for publicly sharing his mental health struggles.

Fans of the footballer have also taken to Twitter to shared their support for Mings being so open and honest about his mental health.

Recently, some notable sports stars have revealed that they now want take some time for themselves to focus on their mental health.

Team USA gymnast Simone Biles made headlines after she pulled out of several Olympic competitions due to her mental health. While fellow Olympian and gold medalist swimmer Adam Peaty recently announced he is taking a break from the pool to prioritise his mental health, and cricketer Ben Stokes has decided to take an indefinite break from the sport to focus on his mental health too.

The footballer added: “It’s just great that we are playing in a time now when you can speak about mental health, and how you are feeling.

“We have seen with Simone Biles you can speak on how you are feeling and hopefully feel supported by many people.”

Former England defender and BBC pundit Rio Ferdinand questioned Mings’ performance, but later contacted him to praise his performances and his response to home secretary Priti Patel.

Mings spoke out against Patel after she tweeted her “disgust” at the online racist abuse of Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka after their penalty shoot-out misses in the Euro 2020 final, despite previously describing players taking the knee as “gesture politics.”

In response, he tweeted: “You don’t get to stoke the fire at the beginning of the tournament by labelling our anti-racism message as ‘Gesture Politics’ & then pretend to be disgusted when the very thing we’re campaigning against, happens.”

He said: “Rio DM’d me after the tournament. He’d said I was the weak link, and that Croatia should be targeting me.

“He messaged me saying something like, ‘Top-class response — matched your performances on the pitch.’ What a lovely guy.”

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