Luke Young has hailed the qualities of fellow Aston Villa full-back Nicky Shorey, who has regained his place in the starting line-up after several months of being frozen out by manager Martin O’Neill.
Young admits he is unsure why England defender Shorey was excluded from the first eleven for a four-month period – apart from UEFA Cup games – after the home Barclays Premier League clash with Middlesbrough in early November.
That meant Young switching flanks to fill the left-back role of the former Reading player, who was signed by O’Neill for £5m in August after Wilfred Bouma dislocated his ankle.
But Shorey earned a recall earlier this month after a poor performance by stand-in right-back Nigel Reo-Coker against Liverpool at Anfield led to Young reverting to his more accustomed role.
Young, currently battling to overcome a foot problem, said: “Nicky has been patient. You don’t become a bad player overnight and you can see day in and day out that he is a great player.
“I’m glad he has got his chance now and I hope he stays in now until the end of the season.
“I was asked to play left-back for a good number of games in a row when we have got an England international (Shorey) out of the side.
“I am not sure the reasons why and the manager makes the decisions and you respect those.
“All I know is Nicky Shorey is a great left-back and I am sure a lot of teams would want him.”
Young, one of Villa’s most consistent players this season after moving from Middlesbrough during the summer, is hoping to be back in contention for Monday evening’s home league clash with Hull.