Ashley Young has paid tribute to Manchester United team-mate Marouane Fellaini after his goalscoring exploits against Tottenham Hotspur last weekend, claiming that not many teams are able to handle the Belgian midfielder when he's producing this kind of form.
The 27-year-old is enjoying a vastly improved second season at Old Trafford having been handed an important attacking role in Louis van Gaal's side in 2014/15.
Fellaini was heavily criticised by sections of the Red Devils fan base following his £27.5 million move from Everton back in 2013. And, as former manager David Moyes' only high-profile signing that summer, he bore the brunt of supporter frustration during a really disappointing campaign.
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However, under the new tutelage of the Dutch coach Fellaini is thriving in a more advanced position, providing an effective link between the Manchester United midfield and forward line.
"He has been very important for us," reflected Young in an interview with Sky Sports. "He has been in the team and when he is in the box, I'm not sure many teams can handle him.
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"You saw against Tottenham that he was fantastic at getting in the box and looking like a striker at times. I think he likes playing in that position.
"We just have to utilise his strengths and I think we did that really well on Sunday."
Asked for a reason why the likes of himself and Fellaini have enjoyed a significant upturn in form this term, Young admitted that the previous campaign was difficult for a number of reasons before stating his belief that the collective group has improved this year.
"I think last season was difficult for a lot of people and this season is totally different," he added.
Last Sunday's emphatic 3-0 win over Spurs was the perfect response to Manchester United's disappointing FA Cup quarter-final defeat against Arsenal the previous Monday, and now Young insists that confidence in the camp is extremely high ahead of the forthcoming Premier League clash with Liverpool at Anfield.
"We will go there [to Liverpool] looking for the three points," - Ashley Young
"We are going there to win, you don't go to a place to try and draw. The performance against Tottenham was brilliant but we have a tough game coming up at Liverpool. We have got to dust ourselves down in the right way and go for the three points again.
"Morale has always been high. Confidence has always been there too. We were obviously disappointed after the Arsenal game. I said afterwards that it will show how our team spirit and character is with how we bounce back.
"I think if you look at the first 45 minutes [against Spurs] then that was exactly the right way to bounce back."
With the race for Champions League qualification hotting up Manchester United will be hoping to extend their two point lead over Brendan Rodgers's side with victory on Merseyside.
Defeat will mean Liverpool usurp the Red Devils in that all-important fourth spot, so there's all to play for when the two teams meet this weekend.
Manchester United fans: How pleased have you been with Marouane Fellaini this season? Do you think he'll have an important role to play at Anfield on Sunday? Share your thoughts below…
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