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"I wouldn’t say Young has been forgotten. It’s always the same when a player gets injured, he’s not there so they can be out of people’s minds. Young has shown his qualities."

- Sir Alex Ferguson

19/10/2012 09:41, Report by A Marshall & G Thompson

Young returns to squad

Ashley Young is fit to return to the United squad for Saturday's Barclays Premier League encounter with Stoke City.

The England winger suffered a knee injury during the win against Fulham in the first home game of the season but has been back in training and is in contention to feature in the Old Trafford clash against the Potters.

"Everyone came back from the internationals fit," declared Sir Alex. "Which is a bonus. It is always a time when you're a bit concerned about getting the players back but, fortunately, we've been lucky this time. Also Ashley Young is fit. Chris Smalling is not quite there but is making progress.

"Young gives us another option. As I’ve said many times over the last few weeks, the strength of our squad is the attacking options we have and we’re getting better with Darren Fletcher coming back which has been terrific for him and for us. There has been some progress with players like Nick Powell, who is progressing well, as is Tom Cleverley and Anderson is getting better all the time so all the fears about the midfield positions are evaporating quite well.

"I wouldn’t say Young has been forgotten," insisted the boss. "It’s always the same when a player gets injured, he’s not there so they can be out of people’s minds. Young has shown his qualities.

"Very few players can cross the ball as well as he can and his goalscoring ratio is very good for us. Didn’t he get 11 goals for us last season? For a wide player that’s very good. I don’t think you can underestimate that or forget it. I think any player coming to our club with ability and who also had a good record at Aston Villa will have the determination to do well.

"The opportunities are there for him, he has the opportunity to win things here and I don’t think that’s lost on him. I’m sure during the time he’s been out he’s been thinking about that. That’s what players do when they’ve been out, they start thinking about what should have been for them and what they can be for him. That will hopefully surface as the season goes on now."

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