LONDON – Ashley Young has warned that Manchester United should not be written off as they attempt to mount an improbable comeback against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League last-16.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men head to France for the second leg of their last-16 tie on Wednesday trailing 2-0 after a humbling experience at Old Trafford last month in what remains the only defeat they have suffered to date under their interim manager.
PSG are favourites to progress to the quarter-finals, but 33-year-old Young has advised them to take nothing for granted after seeing United revive their season since the Norwegian’s arrival.
“We know what we’re capable of,” he said. “People can write us off. People were writing us off at the start of the season, and people are writing us off now. It’s no different.
“Obviously it’s going to be tough. It’s not going to be easy. We’ve got to go over there, win the game and score goals.
“I’ve got every faith if we defend well, and if we create the chances that I know we can do, we can win the game.”
Paul Pogba’s red card in the first game means he is unavailable for the return, while fellow midfielders Nemanja Matic, Ander Herrera, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard appear on a casualty list that also includes Phil Jones, Matteo Darmian, Antonio Valencia, Anthony Martial and Alexis Sanchez.
However, Young is confident the spirit that fuelled Saturday’s 3-2 fightback victory over lowly Southampton will serve his team well once again.
He said: “That’s the club’s way, the United way. Never say die.”
The odds are stacked against United, but Solskjaer at least has striker Romelu Lukaku back in lethal form in front of goal, after he claimed a fine double to help see off the Saints.
The Belgium international has scored four times in his past two outings after a nine-game barren run.
“I wouldn’t want to play against him,” said Young. “He does give us a different presence.
“It’s good to see all the strikers in form, the whole team. It’s not just 11 men on the pitch, it’s a squad game.
“Everyone has got to be ready. Everyone has got to be prepared and ready to play when the manager calls on you. When you’ve got competition for places, it can only help.”AFP