Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard praises the ‘outstanding’ Ashley Young following Villa’s 2-0 win over Brighton

Ashley Young played a key part in Villa’s opening goal in the 2-0 win

Steven Gerrard, Manager of Aston Villa applauds fans after their sides victory in the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Brighton & Hove Albion at Villa Park

Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard has heaped the praise on his former England teammate, Ashley Young, following Villa’s 2-0 win over Brighton.

Young was introduced with just over 15 minutes to play and played a crucial role in the final scoreline.

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The 36-year-old is the most experienced pro within the Villa ranks and that experience showed following his arrival onto the field.

Gerrard deployed him on the left of the front three, a role familiar for Young but one where he has been rarely used in recent years.

And it was a decision that turned into a masterstroke when the former Inter Milan player provided the assist for Ollie Watkins opening goal in the 84th minute.

He turned away brilliantly from the Brighton man and charged forward before playing Watkins through with a delightful ball and the forward did the rest.

Speaking after the game, Gerrard says that he can see Young taking up those forward positions more often under his management.

“100%,” he said.

“I know Ashley extremely well and I must say he has been absolutely outstanding since we’ve walked through the door. Not just on the training pitch - his leadership and the standards he sets.

“We see players like him as an outer-layer of the staff if you like - he really helps. We need to lean on him.

“He was ready today.

“The big thing about Ash is he can play right-back, he can play left-back, he can play as an eight he can play as a ten, he can play wide. That’s what these players allow you to do as a manager, they allow you to use them in different ways so credit to Ashley.”