Belfast Telegraph

Manchester United can win Champions League this season, insists Young

By Simon Peach

Manchester United's solid defence and attacking options make Ashley Young believe Champions League glory is realistic this season.

For the first time since 2013-14, the three-time European champions are back in the knockout phase.

Tomorrow sees Jose Mourinho's side take on Sevilla in the first leg of the last-16 clash, yet there is already half an eye on the Kiev finale this May.

Having lifted the Europa League last year, experienced full-back Young sees no reason why they cannot challenge for the Champions League this time.

"Of course (we can win the Champions League)," versatile Young said. "You don't enter a competition not to win it. That's what we will be looking to do and take each game as it comes.

"The next one is against Sevilla. That's a tough away game like Huddersfield, like Newcastle away. That's what the stadium is like. We just have to concentrate on ourselves."

Young has also not given up on usurping runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City - "we know the points difference but never say never" - having reached the FA Cup quarter-finals.

Saturday's 2-0 fifth round win at Huddersfield was a welcome boost at the start of a "massive week" that sees Mourinho's former side Chelsea arrive at Old Trafford after the trip to Spain.

United's win in West Yorkshire was a timely response after the surprise loss at Newcastle, with their latest clean sheet particularly sweet after the defence came in for criticism.

"It's fantastic," Young, deployed at right-back on Saturday, said. "A lot has been said about defenders and what not and it's one of those things. Everyone's entitled to their opinion.

"Keep getting clean sheets and hopefully we can chip in with goals as well as the front boys."

There were glimpses of two-goal Romelu Lukaku clicking with high-profile January signing Alexis Sanchez.

"You can see the combinations," Young said. "Alexis comes inside, and Rom's seen him and picked him up and they're picking each other out and have worked well together so far."

Belfast Telegraph

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