Young backs rookie Delfouneso
Ashley Young says Nathan Delfouneso has a bright future after his goal in Villa's win over Blackburn.
By Danny Wright
Last Updated: 03/01/10 3:46pm
Ashley Young reckons Aston Villa team-mate Nathan Delfouneso has a bright future ahead of him following the striker's goal in the 3-1 FA Cup win over Blackburn.
Delfouneso set his side on their way to victory with the opener on 12 minutes to mark his first start of the season with a goal, before Carlos Cuellar and a John Carew penalty booked a place in the fourth-round draw.
The youngster made his breakthrough in the Villa side last season by scoring twice in his team's Uefa Cup exploits, but has since found opportunities limited behind the established trio of Emile Heskey, John Carew and Gabriel Agbonlahor.
But Young said his colleague had time on his side - and backed the 18-year-old to develop into a fine player.
"Nathan is a very exciting prospect," Young said. "If you look at this game and the way he came on, the way he started, he was fantastic.
"He has always had the potential from the first few glimpses we saw of him when he came on last season, especially in the Uefa Cup.
"For such a young boy to come on in an established competition like the Uefa Cup and do so well shows he has got a great future ahead of him.
"He has got an eye for a goal. He is a typical striker. He feeds off the wingers. He can hold the ball up, he can score, and he is definitely going to have a good future ahead of him."
Young, who set up the opening two goals on his return from suspension, warned his side not to be complacent ahead of the Carling Cup semi-final first-leg meeting between the two teams on Tuesday.
The FA Cup victory marked the start of a triple header of clashes between Villa and Rovers, although the winger was keen to play down suggestions Martin O'Neill's side had the edge over Sam Allardyce' men going into the match.
Both teams are expected to ring the changes for the Ewood Park encounter after fielding weakened sides in Saturday's game.
Villa will be eager to reach their first League Cup final since they lifted the trophy for the second time in three years in 1996, although Young would not buy into talk that his team were favourites to progress.
"The FA Cup game will have no bearing on Tuesday. It is a different game, a different competition," he added.
"You always want to play in the big competitions and we are no different. We are in the competitions to go to Wembley and go and win it. That is what we will be looking to achieve."