Tyrone Mings has claimed England need to be more “streetwise” – but warned they cannot let the “dark arts” get out of hand.
Mings admitted he would have been sent off had VAR been in use when TV pictures showed he gave Austria’s Sasa Kalajdzic a forearm smash during their warm-up friendly.
But Mings does believe that England will have to be cute when playing other big nations during the Euros and get better at wind ups and time wasting.
Aston Villa defender Mings said: “Being streetwise is a huge part of the game. You look at other nations and they are masters at the dark arts – staying on the floor for longer than needed, delaying restarts.
“Being streetwise is also sometimes what gets you over the edge because it winds up the opposition and breaks up their flow and their rhythm.
“Listen, everything is going to have to come together for us to win the tournament. There are other things that will be important as well.”
Mings was honest enough to admit on Kalajdzic that he could have been sent off had it been during a tournament because he would have been caught by VAR.
But Mings says his forearm smash was “too aggressive” but just a tactic he often uses to block off forwards during games but says football has gone soft.
England defender Mings said: “I was not lucky, no, because I knew there wasn’t VAR.
“But it wasn’t, wasn’t it, so we can go back through many different occasions in my career and you could say if there was VAR in that game, I would have got sent off.
“I think there is definitely something to be said about… football is very soft these days, you cannot get away with much. And like you say, if there had have been VAR, absolutely I would have given away a penalty.
“As a defender, I have done that many times in my career. When a cross is about to come in, block the striker. That is not against the rules. But that one there was probably too aggressive.”