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Wednesday 29 March 2017

Fighting on four fronts

United utility man Young is confident Mourinho has the strength in depth for glorious season

Ashley Young, pictured in action against St Etienne on Wednesday during the Europa League last 32 second leg tie. Pic: Reuters
Ashley Young, pictured in action against St Etienne on Wednesday during the Europa League last 32 second leg tie. Pic: Reuters

Ashley Young has no doubt that Manchester United have the strength in depth to keep fighting on all fronts.

Jose Mourinho started life at Old Trafford with a Community Shield triumph and is now pushing to add major trophies.

Sunday's League Cup final against Southampton offers the first opportunity, fresh from progressing to the Europa League last 16 and setting-up a mouth-watering FA Cup quarter-final at Mourinho's former club Chelsea.

Catching the Blues in the Premier League title race looks unlikely but Young is confident this can be a successful season, with United having the wherewithal to cope with the rigours of a bloated fixture schedule.

"Of course (we can fight on all fronts)," the 31-year-old said after the 1-0 win away to St Etienne on Wednesday night which completed a 4-0 aggregate win in the Europa League last 32.

Jose Mourinho will turn his attentions to Sunday’s League Cup final clash with Souithampton
at Wembley after progressing to the last 16 of the Europa League. Photo: Reuters
Jose Mourinho will turn his attentions to Sunday’s League Cup final clash with Souithampton at Wembley after progressing to the last 16 of the Europa League. Photo: Reuters

Involved

"We are involved in four competitions and we want to win every competition if we can.

"The manager has obviously put out a team tonight and our squad has strength in depth. Whenever a player is called upon, he goes out to give 110 per cent and to give their all.

"We saw that tonight with all of the players. Now we have to recover, dust ourselves off and go again on Sunday because it is a quick turnaround."

Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Michael Carrick's places are in jeopardy for Sunday after sustaining injuries in France, but Young did his chances no harm with his display.

The England international has struggled for game time this term but followed up a fine FA Cup display at right-back against Blackburn with another in St Etienne.

"I am delighted," Young said.

"I am a player who wants to play week in, week out. Every player in the squad wants to play. Whenever called upon, I have just got to go out there, give 110 per cent and play as well as I can.

"The manager said I was man of the match at Blackburn and it was nice to get a compliment.

"I am just one of the players who wants to get back on the training pitch, go again and look forward to the next game.

"As a professional nowadays you have to be able to play a number of positions and I have played all over the pitch.

"I think it is only goalkeeper I haven't played as. I don't fancy that - maybe in training, though!

"It is just one of those things. You have to be ready whenever called upon and if you have got a good footballing brain, and can read the game well, then it helps."

Young's versatility is giving him game time less than a month ago after it appeared his career at Old Trafford could be coming to an end.

Mourinho admitted a deadline-day exit was possible as speculation over a move to China grew - albeit not to the levels surrounding United captain Wayne Rooney right now.

Noise

Young is happy to have remained at the club, though, and is relieved the background noise has gone.

"Yeah, of course," he said.

"I am concentrating on my football. I am here at United for the rest of the season and another year, so I am concentrating on everything here."

Now, the winger-cum-full-back is hoping to get the chance to line up at Wembley.

"It would be fantastic," Young added. "But that is down to the manager to decide. As long as I am ready then we will just have to wait and see."

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