Saturday 25 January 2020

Young urges Red Devils to seize initiative

Manchester United's Ashley Young. Photo: Mike Egerton/PA Wire.
Manchester United's Ashley Young. Photo: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. newsdesk

Ashley Young wants a repeat of Manchester United's dominant win over Leicester when Stoke visit Old Trafford today. Jose Mourinho's men have won four and lost two of their six Premier League fixtures this season.

Last weekend's 4-1 defeat of champions Leicester followed losses at Watford and to Manchester City, and showed reasons to be optimistic. Young is now calling for another destructive display from the Red Devils, despite watching most of the Leicester win from the substitutes' bench.

"It was an ideal start for everyone on the pitch, on the bench and in the stands," Young said. "It was one of those days when everything clicked and it was goal after goal. The boys enjoyed it, and if we can have more days like that at Old Trafford then it will be fantastic.

"The atmosphere was electric and the intent from us at the start was to go forward, be on the front foot and not let them play. We knew what their strengths were, we knew what their weaknesses were and we capitalised on that. We got the early goals and the game was over.

"We are determined to win again against Stoke now, especially going into the international break. We want to get that win and come back feeling fresh. We want to go into the break with a positive frame of mind and on the back of a win.

"It will be nice to obviously have a performance like we did in the first half against Leicester. We want to take that into this game."

United beat Zorya Luhansk in the Europa League on Thursday and Young was again a substitute. The former Aston Villa winger has made one start under Mourinho, who will demand ruthlessness against struggling Stoke. The Potters are 19th with two points from six games. With the international break following, Young may be on the bench once more.

"When you see Stoke sides of previous years, you don't see them around the bottom," Young added. "It is surprising. You see them more in the top half. But that is Stoke and we have got to concentrate on ourselves, keep the momentum going, keep the winning feeling and keep the way we are playing forward, attacking football.

"We want to keep them down there. We have got to get three points. We are only concentrating on ourselves."

Manchester United v Stoke City

BT Sport 1, 12.0

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