EPL

Ashley Young insists Everton can only influence what happens on the pitch

By Sports Desk February 04, 2024

Ashley Young admits the responsibility is on Everton’s players to positively effect the rest of their season as the fate of their points deduction and another pending charge for a financial breach is out of their hands.

The club’s appeal against the 10-point sanction for an infringement of Premier League profit and sustainability rules was held this week but an outcome is not expected for another fortnight.

Without the penalty Sean Dyche’s side would be nine points clear of the relegation zone and while the last-gasp 2-2 draw with Tottenham briefly lifted them out of the bottom three, they will remain there for another week after Luton’s draw at Newcastle dropped them back down.

Young admits being below the line does have an impact on the players but a determined performance against Spurs was a confidence booster after Jarrad Branthwaite’s first goal of the season in the fourth minute of added time snatched a deserved point.

“I think everything is in the back of our minds but we have got a job in hand to do and that was to try and win the game,” said Young.

“Everything is out of our hands apart from what we go and do on the pitch and that is to win games. That is all we can do.

“We were losing but it showed the team spirit that we have got. Everyone is pulling in the right direction and everyone is on board with the manager’s ideas and his vision for the club.

“We want to make it tough for every team to come here. We have got to worry about what we do and not other teams and that is to get wins on the board.”

Young was playing only his second game after a six-week injury lay-off but was one of the better performers in a first half in which Jack Harrison got the slightest of final touches to deny team-mate Dominic Calvert-Lewin his first goal in 17 matches, sandwiched between two efforts from former Toffees favourite Richarlison.

The paucity of resources in midfield meant Young was freed from the right-back role he has operated in this season to play further forward and he enjoyed it.

He will be 39 this summer, when his contract expires, but has no plans to quit.

“I prefer it, actually, if you can tell the manager that. I have played there pretty much all my career,” he said of his midfield role.

“I know the job and it is more exciting than playing as a defender.

“I am just thinking about what games are coming up. It is down to the club when they want to sit down and talk to me about it. For me, it is just playing games and getting to the next game.”

Asked whether he wanted to continue playing next season, he added: “Yeah, of course I do.”

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