Young thankful to O'Neill
Ashley Young has paid tribute to Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill for continuing to back him.
Last Updated: 22/02/10 7:13pm
Ashley Young has paid tribute to Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill for continuing to back him through difficult times.
The winger produced a series of dazzling displays last season and some critics have questioned whether he has been as effective during the current campaign.
Young has been satisfied with his performances, particularly in more recent weeks, and is grateful for O'Neill's support.
"There have been times when people have said, 'I've not had as good a season as last season'," he said.
"But the manager has been full of praise for me, has always backed me non-stop, and I just want to do well for the team and the manager.
"He instils a lot of confidence into you.
"If you look at the displays, especially in the last weeks that I have put in, I am delighted with them - and just delighted how things are going for the club."
Young has been impressed with fellow wide-man Stewart Downing, who joined Villa from Middlesbrough last summer but missed the first half of the season with a broken foot.
Downing has slotted effortlessly into the side and scored his first Premier League goals for the club in Sunday's crushing 5-2 victory over Burnley.
"Stewart has come into the side and he has done terrific for us," said Young.
"He was out for so long through injury and different players take different times to settle into a team.
"But Stewart is a top-class player who has settled in here straight away, and the way he has played means it hasn't looked like he had been out for that long.
"He has been brilliant since he came into the team and he was brilliant against Burnley.
"Goals always boost your confidence but he is a confident player anyway. You see him in training and see him in games so far and he has done some great things."