Euro 2012: England's Ashley Young relishes opportunity

By Phil McNultyChief football writer in Krakow

Ashley Young is relishing the responsibility of being England's main attacking threat in Wayne Rooney's absence for the early stages of Euro 2012 - and rates their chances of winning the tournament "very highly".

Manchester United's Young has scored five times in his last seven games for England and also set up Danny Welbeck's winner in the friendly against Belgium at Wembley.

"I don't mind the responsibility at all - if there is pressure, then I will thrive on it," he said.

"I scored the winner in Norway and set up Danny's goal against Belgium so hopefully I can do that again when we get started here."

New England manager Roy Hodgson is expected to partner Young with his Old Trafford team-mate Welbeck for the opening game against France in Donetsk on Monday.

And Young is in confident mood, saying: "I rate our chances of winning the tournament very highly. We don't come into a competition thinking we can't win it. If we apply ourselves in the way we have done in qualifying I'm sure we will do very well."

Young added: "I'm feeling very confident going into the first game on the back of a few goals and a few assists. Everyone in the squad feels the same and I'm sure if we go out and put in the sort of display we have done in our last couple of games then we can get the right result."

He also had words of support for United colleague Rio Ferdinand, who admits his England future is now in doubt after being excluded from Hodgson's Euro 2012 squad.

"He's said he's not going to retire from international football," said Young. "I played with him at United last season and have played with him for England and he's still a fantastic player."