(Reuters) – Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe says defender Tyrone Mings is a “gentle giant” despite his five-game ban for violent conduct in last weekend’s Premier League draw at Manchester United.
Mings landed on Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s head with his studs just before half time and the United striker caught the left back in the face with his elbow soon afterwards. Neither incident were seen by match officials but caught on video.
Ibrahimovic received a three-match ban and Mings was banned for five.
“Although he (Mings) is a beast in stature he is certainly a gentle giant on and off the pitch,” Howe told reporters on Friday.
“We are disappointed for Tyrone, we feel it was accidental. I don’t think he has that kind of streak in him. It’s a real shame for him.
“I see a defender who has made a very good tackle trying to get back to his goal as quickly as possible. His focus is on the ball, not on what lies beneath him.”
Mings, who will be unavailable for selection until the trip to Tottenham Hotspur on April 15, said his actions were not intentional.
“I am extremely disappointed at the FA’s decision to ban me for five matches, following what was an accidental collision with Zlatan Ibrahimovic,” Mings said in a statement.
“Conduct like that is not part of my game. My only focus was to get back in and defend.”
Bournemouth, in 14th, host 11th-placed West Ham United on Saturday.
(Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Alison Williams)