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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Ash To Be Penalty Hero (If Needed)

Ashley Young has said he has no problems lining up for a spot kick if needed tonight given the Quarter Final has to be decided before midnight.

Speaking to the Birmingham Mail Ash said he has the confidence to put himself in the firing line if needed, especially after bagging his last penalty against Manchester United.

'I was a bit nervous when the penalty was awarded but as soon as I got the ball I knew exactly where I was going to put it.'

Penalties have been interesting lately for us, I'm not sure of the stats but it certainly feels like we haven't put successive penalties away for a long time and it goes back to last season with Carew and Milner joining Ash by missing them, and of course there's the Newcastle one this season that sticks in the crawl.

Most fans are worried about the prospect of a shoot out, so it's good to hear Ash confident about stepping up should it be needed, but to be honest we should be looking to close them out in 90 minutes. With our injury record this season the last thing we need going into the festive period is unnecessary fatigue.

'Whenever there's a penalty I'm ready to step up and take it. But it's down to having the confidence in your own ability, the important thing is to decide which way you're going to go and stick to it. If you change your mind things can go wrong.'

Ash is another who'd like to put last seasons disappointment to rest and progress to the Final again, but he knows tonight will be tough.

'This is a chance to get in to the Semi. When you achieve what we did last season, reaching a Final you want to go back and win. If we perform as we can, I have every confidence we'll be going back to Wembley.'

Ash isn't the only one sticking his head above the parapet if needed, Stewart Downing has also volunteered his services.

'We didn't discuss penalties before the Burnley game because the manager felt we could win in 90 minutes. But if the game goes to penalties we have players who can step up and take them, I would certainly be willing to take one.'

Downing also added the almost obligatory.

'After losing in the final last season in the way we did, it would be nice to go back and win it this time.'

With United going out last night in SPECTACULAR fashion, the Cup is almost there for the taking. It should've been our year last season, it's in our power to make sure it is this time around.

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The Journalist

Writer: Mike Field Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday December 1 2010

Time: 10:06AM

Your Comments

Cool heads will be the number one requirement right throughout the game, but should the score still be level after 120 minutes of frantic football, then the intense pressure level will increase a couple of notches, and only the strong and brave of heart will survive the nerve wracking intensity of the dreaded penalty shoot out. Some folks say that its not the way to win a game of football, and it becomes a lottery as skill goes flying out of the window. Maybe so, but you wont hear the Villans complaining if our progress to the semi-final is achieved through our ability to outscore Brummagem City from the penalty spot. All in agreement shout 'aye'. Thankyou.
glensider
 

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