Ashley Young defends Man Utd style after 'long-ball' criticism

By Simon StoneBBC Sport
Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal (left) and winger Ashley Young
Young says Van Gaal is a "massive character"

Manchester United winger Ashley Young has defended the club's style of play after West Ham manager Sam Allardyce accused them of long-ball tactics.

Allardyce said United employed "thump it forward and see" tactics to net an injury-time equaliser in Sunday's draw.

Former Hammers and Arsenal striker John Hartson said he had never seen a United team "just hoofing the ball".

"Lots of people are saying it's not our style, but we're happy with how things are going," Young, 29, told BBC Sport.

"The boys have fought back at West Ham and showed the team spirit to get the point."

The former Aston Villa winger, close to a return from a hamstring injury, added: "Everybody talks about United. That is normal. In-house, we talk about ourselves. We don't talk about others."


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John Hartson: "With the talent that United manager Louis van Gaal has got in forward positions, I was expecting a lot more from them in front of goal this season. But, as we saw against the Hammers, the dynamic is not working at present."

Read more: 'Why Man Utd are toiling in attack'


Daley Blind scored United's late equaliser after substitute Marouane Fellaini's presence unsettled the Hammers back-line.

United manager Louis van Gaal said the tactics were necessary after a lacklustre first half from his side left him "disappointed" and "frustrated".

Van Gaal has been in charge for almost nine months.

United are currently fourth in the Premier League, a point behind Southampton and just a point ahead of Tottenham.

Meanwhile, Northern Irish defender Paddy McNair, 19, has signed a new contract until June 2017 with an option to extend for a further year.