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Young's mission

English Barclays Premiership

Luke Young is back on the international scene - now he's looking for some first-team action.

Our versatile defender/midfielder was named in manager Howard Wilkinson's latest England Under 21 squad for the friendly against Georgia at Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium next Wednesday (August 31).

It was a timely boost for Young, 21, who has yet to start in our two Premiership matches so far, but came on as a sub at Newcastle. "It's always nice to be recognised at that level," said Young. "It was good news for me at this stage of the season."

Young has played in just about every position for us since bursting onto the scene in November 1998. Back then, he was plucked from the reserves to star in his debut as a raw 19-year-old at West Ham and went on to play 22 times that season. He featured another 26 times last term but after being a jack of all trades, boss George Graham seems to be grooming him as right-back cover for Stephen Carr. Unfortunately that could mean plenty of bench time - the excellent Carr has missed just five Premiership games in three seasons.

Young added: "Obviously I would like to play more but I have to be patient, keep working hard and training as well as I can.

"I think the manager is looking more towards me as a right-back. That was my position anyway and I was only thrown in as centre-back when there was a shortage at the club a couple of years ago.

"It is a little frustrating at the moment, especially travelling to games with the squad and then having to watch from the stands. Hopefully I'll get my chance soon and then I'll have to take it."