Ashley Young confident Man United will progress in Europa League
Ashley Young is backing Manchester United to claw back the 3-2 deficit against Athletic Bilbao in the second leg of their last-16 tie
Ashley Young is convinced Manchester United can overturn a 3-2 deficit and beat Athletic Bilbao in the second leg of their Europa League last-16 tie at San Memes on Thursday night.
The English champions are unbeaten in eight league games, and the Red Devils managed to leapfrog rivals Manchester City into first place in the Premier League table at the weekend.
And Young is confident United can win by the required margin if they can replicate their domestic form against Bilbao.
“It is unusual that we find ourselves in this position losing the home leg but it is a very high-spirited camp,” Young told United’s website.
“There is a great team spirit here and everyone is full of confidence, especially with the way things have gone of late and everyone is looking forward to Thursday.
“Our form in general makes us believe we can score wherever we play. Our attacking play has been fantastic and we believe we can score the two goals we need.
“Everybody has been chipping in with the goals of late. Whoever scores the goals, as long as we get two, that is all that matters.”
Bilbao are unbeaten in six home fixtures in the Europa League, and Young admitted he was impressed by the Basque side’s performance at Old Trafford last Thursday.
But the English winger is certain the Red Devils can get a result in Spain – as long as Sir Alex Ferguson’s side are at their very best.
“Bilbao were an impressive team,” he added. “We found that out last week.
“We had watched videos of them and seen how they played. I am sure if we are on our game 100 percent, we can go there and get the win we need.
“I am sure with the two goals we got and the different chances we created, we showed that we can score more. Our focus has not changed from the start of the season.
“Every competition that we enter, we want to win. We are in the Europa League to win it. That is what we will be looking to do.”
Pre-match facts: Athletic Bilbao v Manchester United
• United have lost only one of their four away games in Europe this season, winning two and drawing one.
• Bilbao are unbeaten in six European home fixtures − three wins and three draws − since a 3-0 loss to Werder Bremen in the Uefa Europa League group stage 2009.
• United’s 2-0 win at Ajax in the round of 32 first leg was only their second win on the road in this competition in 11 attempts, with the other nine producing five draws and four defeats.
• Bilbao have reached the round of 16 for the first time since the advent of the Uefa Cup group stage, having lost out in the round of 32 to Austria Wien in 2005 and Anderlecht at the same stage in 2010.