With Jose Mourinho, true to form, recently venting his frustration in regards to the fixture pile-up his Manchester United will face as they compete on four fronts, it’s clear the Portuguese tactician will be forced to call on his expensively assembled squad at Old Trafford.
The Red Devils scraped past Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup yesterday as they gear up for a big week of action that sees them travel to France to take on St Etienne in the Europa League, before a trip to Wembley for the small matter of an EFL Cup final.
As well as things have been going for the self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ of late, he desperately needs a trophy with his side so far off the pace in the Premier League title race. With that in mind, utilising his squad to help finish off the job on the continent will be a very welcome luxury.
Indeed, the 54-year-old needn’t fear. While he’s far from the most celebrated member of Man United’s glittering squad, Ashley Young’s performance against the Rovers at Ewood Park yesterday would certainly have been a pleasing sight for the former Chelsea and Real Madrid coach.
The 31-year-old was a threat down the wings, putting in the type of performance not seen from him in the most famous of red shirts for a number of years now. He boasted a whopping 98 touches, found success with a decent 87% of his passes and completed four dribbles in a rare outing.
Crucially, he drew two fouls from the Championship side, while he also provided a key pass to help his side avoid a potentially embarrassing banana skin. In fact, Mourinho was so impressed, he even singled the former England international out for praise when speaking to the club’s official site.
“In my opinion, Ashley Young was for me the Man of the Match. His was an absolutely amazing performance. The game was difficult, it was open, Blackburn were waiting for the last minutes to try to win it, so it was very important for us to score and be in a safe position.”