Young hints at new Aston Villa deal

Ashley Young has given a boost to new manager Gerard Houllier by expressing his willingness to sign a new deal with Aston Villa.

Young was the subject of speculation about his future during the summer and constantly linked with a move to Tottenham.

But the England winger has started the new campaign in sparkling form and given the strongest indication yet he will be happy to commit to the midlands club.

When asked how contract talks were progressing, Young said: "I've always said that I'm willing to sign a new deal.

"If it comes along, then I'll be delighted to sign."

Houllier will be pleased with Young's stance with Villa losing Gareth Barry and then James Milner during the past two summers.

And Young has been impressed already with the impact Houllier has made in his short spell since replacing Martin O'Neill.

He said: "When things change at a club, you are looking forward to a new regime with the new manager coming in who has his own way of thinking.

"I think the players are looking forward to everything that's going to happen with the changes coming.

"You are professionals. You have to adapt to new regimes and if the manager changes things you have to adapt to it. I think we've done well doing that so far.

"Obviously there have been changes but not too many. You don't want to change things too quick at the start.

"Hopefully we'll continue the work we've put in in the last few days and continue our winning ways."

Young was referring to the 3-1 win over Blackburn in the Carling Cup - Houllier's first match in charge - in which he scored twice to lead a second-half revival.

The former Watford player feels Villa have taken plenty of confidence from reaching the final of last season's competition as they aim to go one better during the current campaign.

Young said: "Going in at half-time being behind was disappointing but it just shows the team spirit and character that we've had over the years in that we can bounce back from anything.

"It was vital to get off to a winning start under the new manager and get us into the next round of the cup.

"We got loads of confidence from the run last year."

Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce has called on his side to show more defensive resilience after again surrendering the lead at Villa Park.

Rovers were carved open after Houllier switched from a 4-3-3 to a 4-4-1-1 formation with Young playing behind John Carew and his replacement Emile Heskey.

Allardyce said: "We can't find the right determination to hang onto a lead. We've gone in front six times out of seven and only one won game.

"We will have to keep working at the defensive side of our game to get the ultimate clean sheet we need.

"We must be more resilient defensively.

"You just keep practising like you normally do week in and week out. It is called repetition."

Allardyce must be sick of facing Villa who also knocked Rovers out of the domestic cup competitions last season.

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