Man United’s Ashley Young embracing leadership role in Red Devils squad
Manchester United winger Ashley Young talks about his role in the Red Devils squad
Ashley Young says he is embracing his advisory role in the Manchester United squad following the departure of senior players last summer.
Patrice Evra, Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic all left Old Trafford at the end of the 2013/14 campaign, prompting new manager Louis van Gaal to appoint Wayne Rooney as the new captain.
We’ve got one captain but, when we’re on the pitch, there are 11 captains and everyone wants to be pulling in the right direction
However, Young revealed that other senior members of the Red Devils squad have helped advise their younger team-mates to ease the workload on 29-year-old Rooney.
Speaking to United’s website, Young said: “When you’ve got Vida [Nemanja Vidic], Rio [Ferdinand] and [Patrice] Evra leaving, individuals who were not only big characters but captains, people have to step up and take over that mantle.
“It has definitely happened. You give out more advice and try to help the youngsters along but it’s everybody’s job really. Everybody chips in.
“We’ve got one captain but, when we’re on the pitch, there are 11 captains and everyone wants to be pulling in the right direction and wanting to perform and do as we well as we can as a team. When you have got that on and off the pitch, it’s great.”
Young is one of the senior members of Van Gaal’s squad following the overhaul last summer, and the England international lifted the lid on the great atmosphere in the United camp.
“To be honest, a few of my team-mates have mentioned my name when they talk about characters and jokers and it’s always nice to hear that. You have got to have good team spirit and we have got that here. We always have done,” Young added.
“There are people who like to mess about and do different things in the dressing room. There are big characters in the dressing room and everyone gets on with everybody else. The team spirit we have got here is brilliant.”
United are five points clear of fifth-placed Liverpool in the race to secure a return to Champions League football next season.
The Red Devils face Tim Sherwood’s Aston Villa at Old Trafford on Saturday.