Young focused on adding to England goal tally

11 February 2011 09:00

Ashley Young will try to blank out the problem of ousting Wayne Rooney from the England team and concentrate on building up his goals output instead.

The Aston Villa man broke his international duck when he tucked home the winner against Denmark in Copenhagen on Wednesday. It was the high point of an outstanding performance from the 25-year-old, who was handed a more advanced role by manager Fabio Capello when he was introduced as a half-time substitute.

"I have always wanted to add goals to my performances," said Young. "As a second striker I have been getting in the box more often and having the chance to shoot. Hopefully I can increase my goals tally."

The difficulty for Young is that as well as he played, it is not going to be easy pushing Rooney aside, even if, apart from one inspirational pass to Theo Walcott, the Manchester United man spent his 45 minutes on the periphery.

Rooney said: "Of course he's not going to be easy to get out of the team. He is an excellent player, a world-class player. He is one of those players you look up to and admire. Whenever he pulls on an England shirt he has been fantastic.

"You will have to ask the manager whether I can put pressure on him. I have just got to keep concentrating on myself, that's the main thing for me, to get myself in another squad and keep improving."

That Young has spent the latter half of his career in a wide berth means Capello has another flexible option at his disposal.

A number of critics questioned Gerard Houllier when he put Young into 'the hole' as it is termed. But the Villa boss has been proved correct, winding the clock back to Young's days as a kid at Watford.

"I was a striker all the time when I was younger, even at Watford," said Young. "I am delighted to be playing there again. I have loved every minute.

"It gives me more freedom to go and get the ball and join in. Hopefully I will continue playing there at club level and impress the England manager."

Source: PA