Villa ace relishing competition, full of praise for teammate

Matty Cash has insisted that he is relishing the competition that he’s facing from Ashley Young to secure a starting role as Aston Villa right-back this season.

The 25-year-old started the first two Premier League games of the Unai Emery era, but despite seemingly returning well ahead of schedule after his World Cup exploits, he has found it a lot harder to keep hold of that spot in the side.

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In the seven league games that have followed since, Cash has made just one additional start which came in a more advanced role on the right side against Wolves, and while he picked up an injury along the way too, it has been a difficult run for the Polish international.

He’ll no doubt be desperate to win his place back from Young, but as things stand, the wily veteran appears to be a better fit for what Emery is demanding in that role, both on and off the ball, and so Cash may well have to bide his time, continue to work hard in training and hope that a fresh opportunity comes his way sooner rather than later.

However, he offered some brilliant insight into his own mentality and drive this week, as he revealed that he is relishing the idea of facing competition from Young for that starting berth, and although he ultimately wants to see the team succeed and is continuing to learn from his more experienced teammate, he wants to be back in the Villa XI.

“I’ve always got goals. Obviously, coming off the back of the World Cup I want to keep improving and to keep playing,” he told LadBible TV. “Youngy’s been doing fantastic at the minute. He’s in the team and I want to try and get back into the team. That’s my main goal at the minute but Youngy’s the best they’ll come, really. He’s so experienced in the game.

“He’s 38, by the way, but I tell him every day that he trains like a 20-year-old. It’s important that you have competition in your place and to fight. It can’t come easy, especially at a big club as well, you need two players in every position that can start and, at Villa, I think we’ve got that.

“It’s nice to have competition and it’s good to see Youngy doing well. I want that. I want the team to win. I want us to climb the table and, when I get the chance, I need to prove that I can still do it.

“You look at Youngy’s CV… He’s played at Man United for however many years. He’s played so many Premier League games. The experience he brings in the group and you see it on a day-to-day basis. In training he wants to win every time. That’s what I’m like and you learn off top managers and top teammates as well.

“But, yeah, having him around and in my spot… We’ve got a good relationship and talk about football loads. To be having him fighting with me is fantastic.”

Cash is absolutely spot on in his assessment of how top teams need at least two quality options in every position to be competitive and successful. While our focus is solely on the Premier League for the remainder of this season, we have aspirations to start competing in the cup competitions and to get back into Europe, and so that’s where that depth comes into play too.

Nevertheless, Young has impressed since he broke back into the side and he deserves the extended run that he has had. It’s down to Cash to force Emery to change his mind, and although there are obvious improvements needed in his game to adapt and adjust to the Spaniard’s demands with our style of play, Cash will no doubt be fully determined to prove his worth to the Villa boss and win back his spot in the starting line-up in the coming weeks.

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