England manager Roy Hodgson has backed Ashley Young to fill the void left by Wayne Rooney in his side’s opening two Euro 2012 outings.
Young will play the part as England’s number 10 in the suspended Rooney’s absence, following the Manchester United goalscorer’s red card in the qualifier against Montenegro last October.
Hodgson is confident former Aston Villa star Young can provide his side with the creative spark they need.
“It’s important for me to work out the best team and which players can do the most damage to our opponents and make sure they play in the positions which suit them,” Hodgson said.
“Ashley Young has got in good positions, as we wanted him to do. We feel that, like with Wayne Rooney, Ashley is at his best when he gets behind the midfield and in front of the back players.
“If we have another centre forward to accept the ball, then Ashley can pick the ball off them there.
“The shape of the team is about having a reasonable amount of control. The more of that you have, the more you can find ways of hurting the opposition and get Ashley or Wayne in behind them.”
Young was not even part of Fabio Capello’s provisional squad for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa but now finds himself as one of England’s most important players.
The 26-year-old was a key part of his country’s qualification for Euro 2012 and scored the winner in Hodgson’s first game in charge against Norway.
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