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Young hits back at 'struggle' jibe of Man Utd legend Keane

21:50 SAST 2018/02/20
Ashley Young
The former Red Devils midfielder has questioned the defensive value of a makeshift left-back, but the experienced performer feels he is doing fine

Ashley Young has responded to comments from Roy Keane suggesting that Manchester United will “struggle” with him in a defensive role.

The Red Devils have faced something of a left-back headache in recent times, with none of the options available to them having nailed down the position.

In the 2016-17 campaign, Jose Mourinho regularly asked players to play out of position in order to plug a gap, with Young among those to have been shifted into an unfamiliar post.

The 32-year-old has impressed when called upon, but United legend Keane has still questioned the value of makeshift defenders in an ambitious side.

He told ITV: "They haven't sorted out the defensive problems they have had over the last few years and that will continue.

"The two centre-halves need to do better. I've always thought with Ashley Young in your back four, you are going to struggle."

Young has turned a deaf ear to the criticism, with United’s defensive unit as a whole having seen their contribution questioned of late.

A man who made his name as a tricky winger feels he has performed admirably at the back, with his efforts having been enough to earn an England recall in November.

He will continue to do his job for as long as he is required, with his latest appearance once again seeing him fill in at full-back – this time on the right in a 2-0 FA Cup fifth-round win over Huddersfield.

Young said after that contest, with Keane’s words still fresh in his mind: “I think a lot has been said about defenders – a lot was said last week – and it’s one of those things.

“Everyone’s entitled to their opinion. Keep getting clean sheets and hopefully we can chip in with goals as well as the front boys.”