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No nerves for Young on Man United debut

sports Updated: Jul 15, 2011 11:43 IST
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Ashley Young said he already felt at home in a Manchester United jersey after making his debut in his new club's 4-1 friendly win against New England Revolution.

The reigning English champions kicked off their pre-season tour of the United States with a straightforward win at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday.

Young, who arrived from Aston Villa last month for a fee of around £17 million ($27.4m), saw his new employers prevail through goals from Michael Owen and Park Ji-Sung and a Federico Macheda brace.

"No, there weren't any nerves," Young told MUTV. "I've gone into the game as I normally do, playing the normal same way. I've done that again tonight (Wednesday). I wasn't nervous at all.

"It's a pre-season game and about fitness and I'll build on this. Of course, it's always a nice feeling putting on a Manchester United shirt."

Owen put the visitors in front in the 50th minute, before a brace from Macheda put the game to bed.

Kenny Mansally pulled a goal back for the hosts but United restored their three-goal advantage with 10 minutes remaining, Park coolly lifting the ball over goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth from a Ryan Giggs pass.

Young, who has 15 England caps, played for 67 minutes in a right-wing position and is expected to compete with fellow wingers Nani and Antonio Valencia for a place in United's starting XI.

He can also play as a central attacking midfielder, however, and United coach Sir Alex Ferguson said his versatility made him a valuable acquisition.

"(Right wing) was his position with Aston Villa until last season, when they started playing him in behind the strikers -- Gabriel Agbonlahor or Darren Bent -- in a more advanced role, like the way we use Wayne Rooney," said Ferguson.

"His capabilities are such that he can play wide left, he can play in behind the strikers and he can play wide right. He showed tonight he's a fantastic crosser of the ball."

Macheda, 19, is seeking to make a mark at Old Trafford after failing to impress during a loan spell at Sampdoria last season that culminated in the Italian side being relegated to Serie B.

"I've learned a lot from that experience. It makes me a better player and a better man, the bad experience makes you grow up," the Italian told MUTV.

The win marked United's first appearance since their 3-1 loss to Barcelona in May's Champions League final and Wayne Rooney said it was time for the club to put that painful defeat behind them.

"You have to draw a line under what happened at Wembley," he said.

"You have to look forward, not back. We won the Premier League and we need to look forward at the trophies we will be competing for.

"We have an exciting young team now and hopefully we can bring more success to the club."

United have three more friendly games scheduled in the US, with Seattle Sounders their next opponents on July 20.