(Reuters) - Manchester United winger Ashley Young is aware of his reputation as a “diver” but insists it is up to referees to address the issue.
The 28-year-old has recently come under fire for a perceived habit of going to ground easily, including against Crystal Palace in the Premier League and Real Sociedad in the Champions League this term, and says both current United manager David Moyes and his predecessor Alex Ferguson had spoken to him about it.
“Of course I understand what you’re saying and everyone is going to have their say on it, but I’ve spoken to the previous manager and current manager, the referees are giving decisions and that is where I think it lies,” he was reported as saying by newspapers in England on Thursday.
”It’s been talked about but that’s in-house. I‘m not going to comment on what’s been said.
”I think it’s one to ask the referees - they’re the ones who are giving free-kicks and penalties.
“I remember getting booked against Palace and then won a penalty. Against Real Sociedad it was another penalty that was given. Referees have got tough decisions to make, they have a tough time out there making decisions, but they have made the right decisions, I think.”
The England international said he had not been affected by the criticism, despite Ferguson revealing in his autobiography that he had dropped Young for a match against Everton last year over the issue.
“I don’t take notice of the headlines or the debates,” he added.
“That’s obviously for the media to debate and people to have their say on it and everyone is entitled to have their say on it. For me, the referees have made decisions and that’s it.”
Young, who started in Tuesday’s Champions League win over Shakhtar Donetsk, has struggled to win a place in the United line-up under Moyes, but was hopeful of finding form as he seeks a place in the England squad for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
He was expecting a raucous reception as United head to Young’s former club Aston Villa on Sunday, but was mindful of getting back to winning ways with his side having picked up just two league points from their past four matches.
“We want to build some momentum, we’re going into an important part of the season at Christmas and new year, which are full of games. We have got plenty of points to pick up so I think if we can build on this result we could keep the momentum going all the way through to the new year,” he added.
Reporting by Josh Reich; editing by Amlan Chakraborty