Young remains uncomfortable with swing to the left
Wednesday 03 December 2008
Luke Young has admitted he does not see his long-term future at left back despite being switched into the role by the Aston Villa manager, Martin O'Neill, for the first time in nearly a decade.
Young has swapped flanks for the past three games even though Villa's £5m summer capture Nicky Shorey, a specialist in the position, has been available. A former England defender, Young has not started there since his days as a youngster with Tottenham Hotspur and, while willing to help O'Neill out, does not feel comfortable in the role.
"Playing at left back is a different thing for me to get my head around," Young said. "I am getting on with it and doing a job and if the manager wants to play me there, I'll do my best. Obviously, it is not my best position and, at times, it becomes difficult when I am on the wrong side and I've got to try to manoeuvre my way out of trouble. I am doing my best there. Hopefully, at some stage, I might be able to get back on the right.
"I played there when I was a young lad, and there was no one fit, at Tottenham. In those days I slotted in here, there and everywhere, but I haven't played there for eight or nine years. I've played three games there now, but it is not where I see my future."
O'Neill seems to have reservations about selecting Shorey and has substituted the former Reading player seven times this season, although sometimes for tactical reasons. But Shorey could return to the first XI for tomorrow's home Uefa Cup game against MSK Zilina, with O'Neill admitting he will make changes from the side which drew 0-0 with Fulham on Saturday. He confirmed that the striker Gabriel Agbonlahor is likely to be given a rest after his recent hectic schedule as a lone striker, which included his England debut in Germany a fortnight ago.
Young is confident Villa will put the disappointment of being held by Roy Hodgson's side behind them in their campaign to break into the top four. "The chances were there on Saturday but we didn't put them away," Young said. "On another day, you perhaps win 1-0 and then move on to the next week. Everyone was disappointed afterwards and it almost felt like a defeat.
"The lads were a bit low in the dressing room afterwards because we knew what an opportunity it had been, league-wise, to push ourselves up the table. I don't think we played particularly poorly, we just didn't score. I don't think it was terrible. We are not too down. It was definitely two points lost, but we are moving on again and must make sure we start picking up some wins."
The central defender Curtis Davies has insisted there is no chance of Villa selling the midfielder Gareth Barry next month, claiming: "It would be the worst thing we could ever do. If he wasn't allowed to leave Aston Villa and go in the summer, why would we sell him in January when we are in the top five of the Premier League? In my opinion, it would be the worst thing we could ever do. It is good for Gareth to come out and say he is staying for the fans, so they know he is not going to be running off in January. But the main thing is Gareth has been a top player here for many years and, the longer we can keep hold of him, the better we will be for that."
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