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Fergie warns Young over diving

Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed he has "had a word" with Ashley Young as the Manchester United winger faces increasing criticism over diving.

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Young appeared to go down under minimal contact to win a penalty in the 2-0 victory over Queens Park Rangers earlier this month, and he faced fresh criticism over another alleged dive in the 4-0 win over Aston Villa the following week.

As a result, Ferguson has spoken to the player to advise him to avoid going down too easily.

"I have had a word with Ashley," Ferguson said. "He understands where we are coming from. Hopefully it makes a difference."

While it is hard to argue that the QPR incident did not have an effect - Shaun Derry was sent off for the challenge on Young, who had been in an offside position - Ferguson believes the penalty award against Villa's Ciaran Clark made little difference to the outcome.

"Last week, if the player doesn't bring Ashley down he is going to score," he said. "It was a clear goalscoring opportunity. He caught him and he did overdo the attempt to get a penalty. I am not sure he tried to get the penalty but he certainly went down quickly."

Although he acknowledges that Young must change his ways, Ferguson believes Manchester United are receiving undue criticism during an era when theatrics are becoming increasingly common.

Ferguson says the Champions League semi-final first legs this week featured significant levels of diving - Wayne Rooney even told Chelsea striker Didier Drogba to "pls get up" via Twitter after watching his performance against Barcelona on Wednesday.

"People have reacted because it is Manchester United," Ferguson said. "I watched Real Madrid and Bayern Munich the other night and it was absolutely ridiculous, players were diving and rolling about, nothing like what Young has been accused of.

"Then you see the other night in the Chelsea game. We are in an age where you expect it now."

Ferguson has reiterated his belief that decisions even themselves out over the course of a season.

"We didn't get one against Wigan during the week. We didn't scream from the rooftops about it. It happens," he said. "We got one given against us for Newcastle - we didn't scream about that either.

"You get bad decisions and good ones. Believe me, it does even itself out."

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