Wednesday 24 April 2019

Ashley Young prepared to take penalty and banish spectre of shootout misery

Young missed a penalty during a shootout against Italy at Euro 2012.

Ashley Young is ready to take a penalty for England should the need arise (Aaron Chown/PA)
Ashley Young is ready to take a penalty for England should the need arise (Aaron Chown/PA)

By Simon Peach, Press Association Chief Football Writer, Moscow

Ashley Young wants to atone for his previous shootout failure and take a spot-kick if England’s World Cup hopes come down to penalties.

Gareth Southgate’s men might have to go all the way in Tuesday’s tough-looking last-16 clash with Colombia, putting their vulnerability from 12 yards in the spotlight.

England have lost six of their seven major tournament shootouts, with Young guilty of failing in the country’s last dalliance with spot-kicks at Euro 2012.

Steven Gerrard consoles Ashley Young after he missed his penalty against Italy (Owen Humphreys/PA)

The Manchester United man struck the bar in the agonising 4-2 quarter-final penalty defeat to Italy, but the now 32-year-old is ready to make amends in Moscow.

“Of course I’ll put my name forward,” full-back Young said.

“I have got the confidence in my own ability to step up and take one, so if it goes to that stage then I’ll definitely be one to put my hand up and want to take one.

“Obviously we’ve worked and practised them, and I have got confidence in my own ability to be able to score one.”

Southgate knows all too well about the Three Lions’ penalty problems, having missed a crucial attempt in the Euro 96 semi-final loss to Germany.

England have been practising, studying and developing strategies for penalty shootouts since March and their manager would have no problem picking Young if it came to it.

“He’s a player, as we’ve seen, with outstanding set-play delivery and technique,” Southgate said.

“Like all the players, we’ve been through all the various drills to prepare.

“Once we get to that point, we know of our sort of ranking of players and what we’ve seen, not just with us but over the years in players who have taken more in certain matches than others.

“We’re prepared but there’s a lot of football before that point.

“Our primary focus is preparing for what happens during the flow of the game but should it come to that stage we’re ready.”

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