EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEWS

17/04/2012 09:55, Report by Gemma Thompson
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Ashley eyes first prize

Ashley Young may be new to the business of closing out a title race but he’s as determined as anyone to ensure the trophy remains at Old Trafford…

This is your first involvement in a title challenge – how are you finding it?
It’s everything I expected and more. It’s exciting to be involved, especially at this stage of the season. We’ve never been out of contention but to be in the position we’re in now is fantastic. A lot of people wrote us off when City were a few points clear with a superior goal difference, but we’ve gone about our job in the right way and everyone in the squad has made a contribution. And we’ve done what every other United team seems to do and come strong in the second half of the season.

How does it compare to what you’ve been used to in April & May?
It’s completely different. At previous clubs it was about cementing a place  in the top six or challenging for a Champions League spot. Going for a title is a totally different experience – there is an expectancy to win every game here. The manager said when I joined it’s going to be a challenge and you get that challenge in every match, especially now. But this is why I joined United – to win trophies. To have that opportunity is brilliant.

Many people have said the turnaround is simply down to City’s dip in results and dressing room issues, but you can’t argue with our form…
Exactly. There has been a lot of talk about City all season but we’ve just concentrated on ourselves and got on with our job. We’ve managed to kick on and hit another gear, whereas I don’t think they have. We’ve taken full advantage of that.

It seems like our experienced players are helping to give us the edge...
Having players like Giggsy, Scholesy, Rio, Carrick and Evra has been vitally important, especially for the younger ones. Then there’s the manager – he knows exactly what to do, when to do it and what teams to pick for different games.

You’ve chipped in with some excellent, crucial goals – have you got a favourite?
[Smiles] I’m not sure which one stands out. It’s always nice to score and I’m happy with my tally, but I get greater satisfaction from laying on an assist. The one for Giggsy at Norwich is my favourite. For him to score so late on his 900th appearance was fantastic. You only

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