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Rewind to Boxing Day 1963

Barclays Premier League
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By ESPN Staff

Young backs England to qualify

Ashley Young backed England to get the required result in Montenegro to see them into Euro 2012 after they stumbled to a 1-0 win over Wales at Wembley.

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Young scored the only goal 10 minutes before the break, set up by Stewart Downing, but England found themselves under real pressure from the visiting Welsh after the interval.

Young felt the result, which leaves England needing a point in their final game in Montenegro to be sure of qualifying, was more important than the performance.

Young told ITV: "We wanted to get the three points to boost our chances of getting top of the group and we've done that. The performance wasn't great but you go out to win the game and that's what we've done.

"We knew Wales were going to come out and play with a bit more flair (after the break), which they did, and put us under pressure. I'm not too sure what it was in the second half, we just couldn't get going.''

Asked about the game to come in Montenegro, he added: "Everybody's got to keep ourselves fit. We've got to prepare well for that and I'm sure we'll go there and get three points if we put in a good performance.''

England boss Fabio Capello agreed the three points were the main thing. "Sometimes the result is more important than the other things,'' he said. "The first half we played well. The second half for 25 minutes we played well.

"We suffered a lot the last 15 minutes, they got an incredible chance to score a goal. We created some problems on the counter-attack but not so much.''

Asked if England could challenge at Euro 2012 should they qualify, he said: "We need to improve. We are playing better away than at Wembley. We also need to recover some players who are out.''

Wales were left to rue a terrible miss from Robert Earnshaw who missed the target from just a couple of yards out in the second half. But manager Gary Speed chose not to dwell on that moment, instead taking pleasure in the team performance.

"I'm very, very proud,'' he said. "We knew how the game was going to go. We knew England would put us under pressure and we knew we had to hang on in there.

"We knew the last half hour would open up and I thought we controlled the second half. We were so comfortable on the ball. We took the game to England and I'm really proud of the players.

"We were unfortunate not to get the result but with the performance and the way the players played, I'm really really proud.''

On Earnshaw's miss he added: "It's one of those things. You can't get a better lad than Robert Earnshaw. He's Wales through and through. If we had 25 of him we'd go a long way. If you wanted to put your money on anyone it would be Earnie.

"But the way the guys (in the) played second half far outweighs the disappointment of that miss.''

Young has been in fine form for Manchester United and managed to translate that onto the international stage this week. He admits he has never felt better.

"I'm always confident going on the pitch and I'm even more confident now," he said. "I'm enjoying how things are going at the minute. Things have gone really well for myself and hopefully it can continue.''

Young took his goal neatly at the near post and explained: "It was great play by Stewart down the right and I found myself in the right position to finish it off.

"They put us under a lot more pressure, which we knew they would do. They came and played with a lot of freedom. They're away from home and I think teams play with a lot of freedom, especially when they come to Wembley. We found it difficult but we got that goal and we got the three points.''

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