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By ESPN Staff

Young defends Heskey

Ashley Young has defended Aston Villa striker Emile Heskey after he barged referee Mike Jones during the 1-1 home draw with Wigan.

The normally placid Heskey was incensed when not awarded a free-kick for a challenge on him by Latics defender Antolin Alcaraz. He pushed into Mike Jones and was fortunate to escape with only a yellow card.

Villa caretaker boss Gary McAllister substituted Heskey at half-time for fear of being reduced to ten men and the player left the stadium and did not watch the second 45 minutes. But Young, who tried to calm Heskey down, believes he is the sort of character who would not react in such a way without a genuine reason.

He said: "I think a few things had gone on during the game. I think if you know Emile as a person, unless something has happened on the pitch he's not going to turn like that.

"It's one of those things. You want to calm him down and don't want a player to get sent off and that's what everyone was trying to do. Emile has been a true professional throughout his whole career and, like I say, he wouldn't have just turned for no reason.

"He came into the changing room at half-time and everyone has talked to him and he's fine. We controlled him at half-time and he will be back next week. He's a true professional and he's going to get on with his game. He will be firing and ready to go for the game next week.''

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