By Kevin Phillips

22nd Jan, 2020 | 7:00pm

'Last words I want to hear' - Exclusive: Pundit alarmed by Aston Villa star's admission

Kevin Phillips admits that he was alarmed to hear Aston Villa defender Tyrone Mings discussing how “passive” the Villans have been this season.

The former Villa and England striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, says his old side need to be showing some fight as they battle against relegation at the foot of the Premier League.

Speaking after the draw against Brighton, Mings said: “We can’t have a first-half where we are so passive. We have to go and impose ourselves on teams.”

Phillips says it is a worry to hear one of the senior players talk about being passive when Dean Smith and his men are one of the teams fighting against the drop this season.

“That would probably be the last words I want to hear coming out of my best defender, certainly that would be a slight concern for me,” Phillips told Football Insider.

“What you want when you’re at the bottom of the league, and believe me I’ve been relegated from the Premier League three times, if you’re not playing well what you’ve got to do is get in people’s faces. 

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“You’ve got to run harder, run quicker, you’ve got to run faster, you’ve got to put in more tackles, whether that means more yellow cards. To hear those words is a slight concern.” 

Mings has been a mainstay for Dean Smith since turning his loan move from Bournemouth into a permanent one at Villa Park, with 20 Premier League appearances under his belt.

The Villans sit 16th in the table after beating Watford 2-1, Mings deflecting Ezri Konsa’s shot into the goal for a dramatic injury-time winner.

In other Aston Villa news, Darren Bent has been left in awe of one Villa star he says is among the best in the country.