Man United's Young fed up of being a nearly man
Published 15:12 17/03/12 By MirrorFootball
Ashley Young has had enough of being a nearly man.
In a Manchester United squad containing so many players who have had the winning habit for years, Young is one of the few who have nothing.
The nearest he came to an end of season battle for supremacy was in his Aston Villa days as the midlands club tried to gatecrash those coveted Champions League places.
Three times they were agonisingly close, three times they came up short, finishing sixth on each occasion.
So, now he has swapped Villa Park for Old Trafford, Young has no wish to miss out again.
He said: "So many times that Champions League slot was there and then it just got taken away.
"I have new challenges now. Winning trophies and titles is vitally important for me.
"I have the chance to do that with United."
It is why the 26-year-old made his £18million move last summer, snubbing interest from Liverpool, amongst others, in the process.
Young could not say he has made a seamless transition, there have been far too many injuries for that.
However, after playing an integral part in United's blistering start to the season, Young is rediscovering his form at just the right time given fellow wide man Nani is sidelined with an ankle injury and Antonio Valencia is still to make his comeback from a strained hamstring.
"I am enjoying every bit of it," said Young.
"From the time you sign for a club like United you get that winning mentality.
"Every competition we have entered we have wanted to win and for me personally it is exciting times.
"I said from day one when a club like Manchester United come calling, you don't turn it down. It was a no-brainer.
"It got even more exciting last Sunday, when we found ourselves top of the league.
"We have 10 games left now. We are concentrating on ourselves, like we have done all season and hopefully, by the end, we get that 20th title."
Tomorrow's trip to a Wolves side in a chaotic state should see United extend their lead over Manchester City to four points.
The Blues are not in action until Wednesday, when they entertain in-form Chelsea.
It is one of the few fixtures Sir Alex Ferguson has taken note of, so aware is he of the dangers that lurk in allowing concentration to wander away from his own side's performances.
"I know they've got some hard games like going to Arsenal, and they've got Chelsea at home next Wednesday, but we've got to take one game at a time," Ferguson told MUTV.
"It's the best way. Thinking too far ahead can be a danger, you can get yourself confused."
You can certainly get confused trying to work out why United have won just twice on their last seven top-flight trips to Molineux.
Last term, the Red Devils were unbeaten and facing a team bottom of the table when they headed down the M6 last February.
They still returned without any points as Wolves came from behind to secure a priceless victory.
"It is going to be a tough game," said Young.
"Wolves are fighting for their lives near the bottom and haven't had good results of late.
"But we have to be on our game, the way we have been over the last few weeks because our attacking play has been brilliant."
Yet it is the ability to overcome adversity that shines through the most.
It is not just those damaging European defeats they have had to be overcome.
In addition, there has been an injury list that never seems to reduce, with more players being sidelined just as others recover.
"It's marvellous, it's a testimony to the players' resilience," said Ferguson.
"It's unusual to have so many injuries.
"I thought everyone was fine then (Chris) Smalling gets a head injury and (Phil) Jones goes down with flu. Anderson goes down with a hamstring, and then Nani gets an ankle injury.
"These kind of things have been happening all the time. Just when you think you've got them all back, something else happens.
"But it hasn't derailed the team. The players have performed because they know they've got a great chance of winning this league."