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By ESPN Staff

Young: I won't abandon the Watford ship

Ashley Young today insisted he would be happy to stay at Watford even if they suffer immediate relegation from the Premiership.

The 21-year-old forward has been excellent for the struggling Hornets this season, scoring four goals and showing himself to be Watford's most creative force, and is rumoured to have caught the eye of Arsenal and Aston Villa.

Manager Adrian Boothroyd spoke to Young last week and insisted the England Under-21 international would not be sold during the January transfer window - and Young himself indicated that Vicarage Road remains the best place for him.

'I have been at Watford since I was 10 years old, and this is where I want to be,' Young said. 'Watford look to develop young players.

'People ask if I need to be at a different club to get into the England senior side, but I have managed to get into the Under-21s while playing for Watford.

'Would I have a problem staying here if we were in the Championship? No. If you have what we have here, you do not need to go anywhere.

'I was very satisfied with the outcome of my chat with the manager. He wants me to be here, and I want to be here.

'It's always good to see players come through the youth team and hold down a starting position in the first-team, which is what I have done.'

Young also sees the fate of players like Shaun Wright-Phillips and Theo Walcott as a reason not to jump ship too early.

Wright-Phillips has featured little for Chelsea since moving from Manchester City for £21million in the summer of 2005, while Walcott - despite being included in England's World Cup squad - has so far been a peripheral figure at Arsenal.

Young continued: 'There have always been players who have gone to bigger clubs and not played, or have been on the bench.

'Here, you will be able to play, no matter how young you are. Hopefully, I can keep playing every week.

'If another club were to come in, it would not be up to me; it would be a decision for the manager and the chairman to make.

'All I can say is that Watford is where I want to be.'

The Hornets face Reading on Saturday at Vicarage Road, with a second league win of the campaign vital to achieving their ambitions of staying in the Premiership.

Both teams were promoted last season but their fortunes this term have contrasted wildly, with Reading flourishing in the top flight and Watford have struggling.

Boothroyd will be without suspended skipper Gavin Mahon for the match, but defender Chris Powell is available again after being banned for Monday's goalless draw at Manchester City.

But on-loan Manchester United goalkeeper Ben Foster and forward Marlon King remain sidelined with knee injuries, as does defender Clarke Carlisle, who has a thigh problem.

Young added: 'We wish we could have started the season differently, and we wish we were not where we are.

'But the truth is that we are here. We need to maintain our confidence going into Saturday's game and try to forget about everything else.'