x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Downing and Young are the right men for England, says O'Neill

Martin O'Neill, the Aston Villa manager, has touted his duo for the right-sided midfield role that is up for grabs in the England squad after David Beckham's injury blow.

Martin O'Neill, the Aston Villa manager, has touted his duo of Ashley Young and Stewart Downing for the right-sided midfield role that is up for grabs in the England squad after David Beckham's injury blow. James Milner appears a strong candidate to be part of Fabio Capello's World Cup squad because of his ability to play in several positions. But O'Neill feels Young and Downing can excel on England's right wing after Beckham's Achilles injury has almost certainly ruled him out. O'Neill, whose team travel to Wigan in the Premier League tonight (11.45pm on Showsports 1) said: "I don't know what the England manager had in mind, whether he was going to take David Beckham or not to the World Cup. The news coming out of the England camp suggests that he was - and therefore it is a blow. On the other hand, as you say, if there is an opportunity there, we have one or two players who actually play and can excel in that position." sports@thenational.ae