Aston Villa midfielder Ashley Young to be fined for lunge

19 January 2009 07:52
The 23-year-old winger, who is the Premier League Player of the Month, was given an immediate red card for the foul, the second straight sending-off of his career, and he now faces a fine from his club for poor discipline.

O'Neill has already set a precedent for punishing his players, fining John Carew two weeks' wages when the striker was caught in a strip club the night before the Uefa Cup match against Ajax last October. O'Neill is expected to resort to a similar punishment on this occasion.

The Villa manager has already made it clear that his greatest fears for the second half of the season are injuries and needless suspensions to his key players, saying the loss of either Young or Gabriel Agbonlahor would be "akin to Manchester United losing Cristiano Ronaldo or Wayne Rooney".

The squad is already under strain with Carew out with a back problem, and an injury setback to captain Martin Laursen, who aggravated a knee problem rushing back from injury to appear against West Bromwich Albion last week.

As such, O'Neill will be unimpressed with Young's digression, which means the forward will be suspended for three games, against either Doncaster or Cheltenham, and Portsmouth and Wigan in the League, which could be crucial to his team's aspirations for breaking into the top four this season.

O'Neill made no attempts to downplay the incident. "The last thing I want to do is start defending a sending-off offence that I have no complaints with," O'Neill said, adding that the foul was out of character for Young.

"If I am going to defend him, that is not Ashley. Once you go two-footed like that, it is a sending off.

"The referees have been clamping down and I am right behind them on those incidents even though it affected us," he added. "I am sure I will take some internal discipline."

Source: Telegraph