Belfast Telegraph

Young 'understands' after Ferguson chat

Sir Alex Ferguson has "had a word" with Ashley Young amid diving accusations that have been levelled against the Manchester United winger.

For the last two weekends, Young has received severe criticism for going down far too easily to earn his side penalties, with United legend Bryan Robson warning the former Aston Villa man that it may come back to haunt him as referees may be reluctant to award him spot-kicks in the future.

Ferguson has now confirmed he has spoken to the winger about the situation, saying: "I have had a word with Ashley. He understands where we are coming from. Hopefully it makes a difference."

After watching this week's Champions League semi-finals, Ferguson feels we are in an era where anything goes.

"Last week, if the player doesn't bring Ashley down he is going to score," said Ferguson. "It was a clear goalscoring opportunity.

"He caught him and he did overdo the attempt to get a penalty. I am not sure he tried to get the penalty but he certainly went down quickly.

"But people have reacted because it is Manchester United.

"I watched Real Madrid and Bayern Munich the other night and it was absolutely ridiculous, players were diving and rolling about, nothing like what Young has been accused of. Then you see the other night in the Chelsea game, we are in an age where you expect it now."

Meanwhile, Ferguson has tipped Wayne Rooney to smash Sir Bobby Charlton's Manchester United all-time goalscoring record, which saw him hit the back of the net 249 times during his 17-year United career.

Rooney, 26, is on 178, just one behind George Best and Dennis Viollet, and Ferguson said he has time on his side to add dozens more: "There is every chance of beating Bobby's record. He is on track to beat it and I am sure he will do it."

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