Young ready for Anfield test
Ashley Young does not believe Liverpool's flying start to the season will make Anfield any more intimidating when Manchester United visit on Sunday - because the atmosphere would have been intense enough anyway.
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18. Ashley Young
Sir Alex Ferguson was fond of describing United's meetings with Liverpool as their derby match.
That view has been altered somewhat by Manchester City's rise to prominence in recent times, a period when Liverpool seem to have lost their way.
Indeed, it is now moving towards 24 years since the Merseyside giants secured the last of their 18 league championships, which hardly emphasises a claim of remaining a giant of the English game.
Successive wins from their opening two games has fuelled a belief that the good times are coming back under Brendan Rodgers, and passions are bound to be heightened ahead of Sunday's high-profile encounter.
But Young does not see how the atmosphere could be more intense than normal.
"I don't think there has ever been a time when Manchester United have gone there and Liverpool haven't been up for it," said the England winger.
"You know what the rivalry is like between the two clubs. It will be a fiery atmosphere.
"But you want to play in the fiery games. It is what you dreamt about as a boy.
"We know what to expect. We will keep a cool head, let the fans have their rivalry and try to do our jobs in the right way."
The fixture will provide some welcome relief from the transfer talk that has surrounded Old Trafford for most of the summer.
Discussion over Wayne Rooney has finally started to ease since it became apparent earlier this week that the England striker would not be putting in an official transfer request to try and force through a move to Chelsea.
But that talk has just transferred instead to Everton pair Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini.
United manager David Moyes has never made any secret of his desire to be reunited with the pair, whom he knows so well from his own Everton days.
There has been a feeling Fellaini's services could be secured more easily than those of Baines, although United have indicated there would be no wish to split the bid, giving credence to rumours that another had been lodged.
And, whilst Everton have rejected reports Baines has asked manager Roberto Martinez to be allowed to leave, Press Association Sport understands the full-back has indeed made his feelings known to the Toffeemen hierarchy.
Whether that turns into a transfer though remains open to doubt, with Everton not showing any indication of being willing to part with the 28-year-old.
As it presently stands though, Moyes is still to make his first significant signings since replacing Sir Alex Ferguson as manager.
Not that United's players have been showing too many concerns at the situation.
The message from inside the Red Devils camp has repeatedly stressed how good the current squad is.
And Young has already noted the same winning mentality that has taken United to so many honours down the years in their new manager.
"He has told us already that we are in four competitions and we want to win them all," said Young.
"When you come to a place like Manchester United, you want success.
"You look at the trophy cabinet and the history. You want a piece of that.
"Everybody is a winner here. You see that in training. No-one wants to lose.
"If you have that in training you take it on to the pitch. We want to retain the title that we won last season."
In an ideal world, Young would be present without the aid of crutches, as was the case last May when he collected his first Premier League winners' medal still suffering the effects of an ankle injury sustained against Manchester City a month earlier that ended his campaign.
Yet pre-season did not go entirely to plan for the 28-year-old either.
He was late to join United's tour of the Far East as he continued to recover from the problem, then, after being replaced at half-time during the hammering of Kitchee FC on a tricky surface in Hong Kong, Young found himself back on the sidelines.
The former Aston Villa man only made his re-appearance during Monday's draw with Chelsea.
"It's just been a few niggly things that have happened," he said.
"I was delighted to get as much pre-season under my belt as I did but then I got injured again.
"It is frustrating but now I am back fit hopefully I can stay that way."