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26th Apr 2019

Ashley Young: There’s so many leaders in this team

Jack O'Toole

The leaders have not been too visible on the pitch

Manchester United captain Ashley Young has defended his side amidst their worst run of form in decades.

Wednesday’s 2-0 loss to Manchester City at Old Trafford represented the Red Devils’ seventh loss from their last nine matches with many questioning the side’s ability as well as their leadership.

Young said a lot of people like it when things are not going so well for United but he added that the players are disappointed with how the results have gone lately.

“We speak home truths, you’ve got to when things aren’t going well,” he told Sky Sports News. “You can only imagine what’s been said in that dressing room but that stays with us.

“I know what the strength is, the characters in the dressing room, the spirit in the team we’ve got here. I know everybody wants to win those games and finish the season in the top four.

“There’s going to be a lot of people turn round and say they know the club but when you’re in it day in, day out, they’re the ones that really do.

“Everybody is entitled to their opinion. But there’s so many leaders in this team. I’ve got the armband, I’m just one of the leaders.

“There’s a lot been said about Manchester United and a lot of people like it when things are not going so well. Us as players we’re disappointed with how things have gone.”

Young has been one of many United defenders that have been singled out for criticism over the last few weeks and Neville said that fans should lay off the England international given that he’s largely been asked to play out of position over the last few years.

“At the moment, the player who is talked about the most, [Paul] Pogba is always talked about the most, but the player I’ve seen mentioned most in the last 10 days for Manchester United is Ashley Young,” Neville told Sky Sports.

“Ashley Young has been at the club 10 years, paid very little for him in terms of the market norm, he’s been absolutely work ethic all the way through.

“Don’t pick on Ashley Young. He’s been asked to play at left-back and at right-back and at left wing-back and right wing-back to cover up for the mismanagement of the recruitment.

“So the idea that you turn on Ashley Young… he’s the last person I would turn on.

“He’s the one who is actually, to be fair, going out there week in week out, playing in a position that’s relatively foreign to him in the last two or three seasons, he’s absolutely giving his all.

“He’s hurting on the pitch, I can see it.

“And yet, the focus in the last week has been Ashley Young – he’s not this, he’s not that.

“That is the wrong place to start. Get away from him, start with the ones who set the influence in the dressing room, the ones who have got the capability to be the best in the world.”