CHERRIES defender Tyrone Mings says he has a kindred spirit in “clever” boss and former centre-back Eddie Howe.

Mings will return to the Cherries fold at Tottenham this weekend after serving a swingeing five-match ban for allegedly stamping on Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

The timing of his suspension was particularly painful for the 24-year-old, given it coincided with him playing his best football since joining the club in summer 2015. Indeed, his performance at Old Trafford was arguably his finest in a Cherries shirt.

Mings played most of his football at left-back for former team Ipswich Town but Howe wants his £8m signing to apply his immense physicality to a position in the middle of defence.

He played his first game in more than a year in last September's EFL Cup tie with Preston North End but then had to wait another three months to feature again – as a substitute in the victory over Leicester City.

After starting the FA Cup third round defeat by Millwall, though, the 6ft 5in player lined up in five of his side's next seven Premier League games, before incurring the wrath of an FA Independent Regulatory Commission.

And Mings has been soaking up his manager’s words of wisdom while learning his new job.

He told the Daily Echo: “It does help having a manager who was a centre-back – and he was comfortable on the ball as well.

“He had to be clever because he wasn’t the tallest, so he was a very bright defender.

“His ideas and his experience definitely rub off on me. We have had a lot of conversations about the similarities between us.

“He is a great manager and a great coach to learn from. He is knowledgeable about every position but his experience as a defender certainly helps me.”

Mings tore his anterior and medial ligaments minutes into his Premier League debut against Leicester in August 2015.

His boss is keenly aware of the mental and physical toil required to recover from such a setback.

Howe's debut for Portsmouth following his move along the south coast from Dean Court in 2002 was curtailed by a knee injury. His return against Nottingham Forest later that year lasted nine minutes – and it was another two years before he was seen on a football pitch again.

Howe resumed his career with Cherries before retiring in 2007, aged 29.

Mings, then, had the perfect confidant as he embarked on the road to recovery – and again during his final months of rehabilitation, which Howe acknowledged are the "most frustrating" of all.

“The manager had his fair share of injuries during his career so I have drawn a lot from him," continued Mings.

“I feel like I am getting fitter and stronger. I work a lot with the manager on reviewing games.

“For me, it was pleasing to put in some of my better performances at centre-back, although, ultimately, we are judged on results and they are the most important thing.”