Football

Villa pair face new challenge

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Aston Villa forwards Ashley Young and Gabriel Agbonlahor have been told to get used to being marked men.

The pair will spearhead the Villa attack against Middlesbrough in the Barclays Premier League on Sunday and manager Martin O'Neill admits he has seen a rise in the attention which the England hopefuls get from the opposition - with winger Young being particularly singled out.

O'Neill, whose side are chasing a fifth win in six games, said: "What I have noticed is that teams have started to double up in a bid to stop Ashley Young."

He added: "They are making plans to stop him. It is something we have to try and overcome.

"Ashley is a very clever player and if we can give him a little help along the way that would great.

"Gabby also has the ability to go past players and take them.

"I think people will definitely make plans for these sort of things.

"But as long as they remain within the game who am I to complain?

"I've told Ashley and Gabby that these things will happen in the game and it is up to them to go out and deal with these things.

"Not every challenge is a legal challenge against Ashley. But it is a tough old business and he is a slippery customer."

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Topics:
Internationals
Gabriel Agbonlahor
Football
Ashley Young
Aston Villa
Middlesbrough

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