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Conte culpable in uneven season

Chelsea
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Young wants first-team spot

Manchester United manager David Moyes was pleased to reach the semi-finals of the English League Cup following a 2-0 win away to Stoke City on Wednesday that was briefly halted due to a hailstorm.

Ashley Young hopes he has convinced David Moyes to pick him more often for Manchester United by ending his 19-month goal drought.

• Payne: Christmas cheer takes United past Stoke
• Jolly: Three things: Stoke-Manchester United

The England international winger found the net for the first time since Swansea visited Old Trafford in May last year by opening the scoring in Wednesday’s 2-0 Capital One Cup win over Stoke.

And Young, who thinks it would be “a great achievement” if United could reach the final of the competition, felt it was a relief to end his wait, saying: “It is a long time since I scored. You saw how much it meant to me from my celebrations. I want to get back on the scoresheet.”

The 28-year-old made just his third start in almost three months at the Britannia Stadium and is facing competition from Adnan Januzaj, Antonio Valencia, Danny Welbeck, Nani, Shinji Kagawa and Wilfried Zaha for the places on the wings.

He added: “I want to get back to playing. I am like everyone else in the squad. I want to play every week. Hopefully I have given the manager some more food for thought. He hasn't got an easy job to pick the team with the squad we have got. I wouldn't like to be doing it.”

The victory against Stoke took United through to the last four of the Capital One Cup, where they will face Sunderland in a two-legged tie in January.

And Young believes lifting silverware would provide United with a much-needed boost, adding: “It would give us a great lift. Obviously you want to play in the biggest competitions and the League Cup and the FA Cup are good competitions.

“We are building momentum. It would be a great achievement to get to the final. We have another tough game this weekend [against West Ham] and that is what we are thinking about.”

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