O'Neill: Young will come good
Young returned to Villa Park to prepare for Saturday's opening game of the season against Wigan after struggling to make his mark for England against the Netherlands last night. It was a big chance for Young to impress having been handed a rare start in place of the injured Steven Gerrard.
However, it was his Villa team-mate James Milner who impressed with a cameo off the bench. While Young failed to hit the heights that he has reached on a regular basis in the Premier League, O'Neill still has no doubt the former Watford wide man can become a key player in the plans of Fabio Capello.
"First of all I was delighted that Ashley got an opportunity to play," said O'Neill. "When I spoke to Fabio Capello he asked me about Ashley and said he wanted him to play like he does at Aston Villa. That is all he was asking him to do.
"But you can get a little nervous or you cannot get the ball. When you are playing for your country you are mindful of other players around you. After 15 minutes of the game you might not have had too much of the ball which I think what happened to Ashley.
"Whereas at club level for us in particular he would have been on the ball eight to 10 times. This is something you have to learn. That is the point but saying that the lad is not over-awed. He is a proper player, make no mistake about it.
"I am not making excuses for Ashley because these things happen in a game. In an eagerness to do well you are never sure what is the best thing to do. Do you stay wide hoping the ball comes to you or do you go looking for it and when you do the ball goes wide three times to where you might have been.
"Those thing happen but it is the form he shows for Aston Villa this season that will enable him to part of the England set-up. He has this season to try and get on that plane for South Africa. That should be his burning ambition.
"I wouldn't make all judgements on 65-minute play against Holland. Had you done that with John Robertson (Aston Villa's assistant manager) he would never have played for Scotland after his debut. That was a hundred years ago when I marked him out of the game playing for Northern Ireland!"
Young will bid to sparkle against Wigan on Saturday when Villa hope to have midfielder Stiliyan Petrov fit again following the dislocated shoulder he suffered in The Peace Cup last month. However, new £6million teenage midfielder Fabian Delph may have to wait for his first Premier League start after his arrival from Leeds.
Delph, who played for the England U-21's earlier this week, is likely to begin the game on the bench.