Young: England on right track

Ashley Young

Ashley Young

First published in National Sport © by

Goal hero Ashley Young believes England are heading in the right direction ahead of Euro 2012.

Young preferred to deflect the spotlight away from his winner against Norway in Oslo on Saturday night and look to the challenges ahead in Poland and Ukraine. New England manager Roy Hodgson only has next Saturday's friendly against Belgium at Wembley to finalise his plans before the Euro 2012 opener against France in Donetsk on June 11.

Young said: "Of course, scoring is a good habit to have and I suppose getting a goal within the first 10 minutes of a new manager's reign is pretty good timing. But at this juncture it is about preparing for the European Championships - and we are preparing in the right way."

He went on: "We are only a couple of weeks from the first game and it is important that good things come out of these friendly games. There were quite a few positives to come out of the Norway game. It was good the way we kept our shape, the way we defended as a team and the combinations we had in the team which worked well.

"The work-rate from the boys throughout, from start to finish, was terrific as well. Every game is vitally important with the Euros only just around the corner."

Young praised the performance of goalkeeper Robert Green, in his first international for nearly two years since his blunder against the United States in the 2010 World Cup.

He said: "Any keeper would take confidence from a clean sheet and I thought Greeny was terrific. He was coming and claiming crosses and talking from the word go right to the end."

Young was effective in the second-striker role but is happy if Hodgson decides to make use of his versatility in other positions.

He said: "I've played in many positions. That role against Norway is a position I've played in before and I was pleased with my performance. But I'm a versatile player and wherever the manager picks me to play, I will go out there and play.

"I enjoy every game I play for England, whether a friendly or in a major tournament, whatever role I am asked to perform."

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