Ashley Young is confident Manchester United’s defeat by Bournemouth was a blip and has no doubt they are heading in the right direction.
United had appeared to have turned a corner with a run of three straight victories only to fall to a 1-0 defeat on the south coast on Saturday, leaving them 10th in the Premier League.
But Young was bullish ahead of United’s Europa League clash with Partizan Belgrade at Old Trafford on Thursday, where victory would send them through to the knockout stages.
“I know what I see day in, day out at training,” he said.
“The boys have been working as hard as possible to go out and get results. Obviously things haven’t gone as well as we’d have liked. But that’s not going to dampen our spirits.
“We’ve got a good game to go and qualify out of the group stages and we’ve got games coming up that we believe are winnable games so I think from tomorrow’s game we go on another run and keep putting points on the board.”
United will be without defender Victor Lindelof, who played at Bournemouth having been a doubt for the game but is now sidelined once more.
Left-back Luke Shaw, who has been out with a hamstring injury since August, was back on the grass but training away from the squad, while Eric Bailly, Diogo Dalot, Angel Gomes, Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba and Axel Tuanzebe all remain absent.
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will again use Europe as a chance to give more of his young players an opportunity, and Matej Kovar and Ethan Laird could both be included in the squad.
Winning the Europa League, as United did two years ago, offers a route into the Champions League, but Solskjaer is not giving up on the Premier League top four despite their poor start.
He said: “It’s one route. You’re not going to talk about the end league table in November. I don’t think anyone can predict that already. We haven’t got as many points as we’d like but we’ll challenge to get to the top four.”
The United boss, meanwhile, is not planning a spending spree in January to try to boost results.
He said: “(With) transfers we always look at the long term. It might be none, might be one, might be two. But it’s always the summer window that’s the big one. You can’t do too many good deals in January.”
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