Jesse Lingard claims he ‘didn’t get a chance’ under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Manchester United even though he was ‘one of the strongest and fittest’ in the squad after lockdown – and promises to ‘go out with a fight’ while on loan at West Ham
- Jesse Lingard is hoping to get more regular football in his loan spell at West Ham
- Lingard made a perfect start to life with the Hammers scoring twice on his debut
- The 28-year-old had fallen down the pecking order while at Manchester United
- Lingard was disappointed not to be given a chance following Project Restart
- This was despite being him being ‘one of the strongest and fittest’ in the squad
Jesse Lingard is happy to be getting regular football at West Ham after he felt that he ‘didn’t get his chance’ at Manchester United, despite being ‘one of the strongest and fittest’ players at Old Trafford during Project Restart.
The 28-year-old fell down the pecking order at Old Trafford over the past year and was loaned out to the Hammers for the remainder of the season last month.
Lingard made 22 appearances for United in the Premier League last season, but only two of those came after the summer’s Project Restart and both were off the bench.
Jesse Lingard has enjoyed his start to life at West Ham as he looks to get regular game-time
Lingard had fallen down the pecking order at Manchester United over the past 12 months
Lingard was disappointed not to get a chance at Manchester United following Project Restart, despite returning to the first team as one of the ‘fittest and strongest in the squad’
He also failed to make a league appearance this season until his move, and he was disappointed not to get his chance by Solskjaer after being ‘one of the strongest and fittest in the squad’ when football returned from its suspension last summer.
Ahead of West Ham’s match with Sheffield United on Monday evening, he told BT Sport: ‘At this age, it’s all about regular football and showing people what you can do.
‘First and foremost I’m here to play, win and help the team, so hopefully I can do that and we’ll see where we’re at come the end of the season. But it’s about playing with a smile on my face and enjoying my football and getting back to the old Jesse.
‘Football is a lot of ups and downs, people go through different stages and it’s not just a straight road to the top. There are a lot of setbacks which most people don’t see and a lot of things that go on behind closed doors.
‘During the lockdown I recapped my best moments playing football – the season under Jose (Mourinho) where I scored all of those goals and went to the World Cup and the season when Ole came in and I started well.
‘So I started recapping a lot of games to see where I did well, getting that fire in my belly and drive again to go and kick on because it would have been easy for me to fall off and take the easy option out. But a person like me who’s been through a lot and knows the game, I can’t just give it up like and I’ll always go out with a fight.
‘I came back one of the strongest and fittest (in the Man Utd squad) after the lockdown and I didn’t get my chance that I was waiting on but the whole time I was there and not playing I was doing extra training and keeping on top of my fitness for when the time was right.
‘So for me it’s about working hard and staying dedicated and I went back to basics.’
Lingard had made only two Premier League appearances with United since Project Restart
Lingard has featured in both games for the Hammers since completing his loan move to the east London side.
He made the perfect debut, scoring twice in a 3-1 victory over Aston Villa – his first league goals since the final day of the 2019-20 season.
The attacking midfielder says that he does see similar characteristics between West Ham and Manchester United’s teams.
He said: ‘It doesn’t even have to be the senior players that have a leadership mentality, it can be one of the young boys,.
‘For me it’s about adding that experience, I’ve been around a lot of great characters at Man Utd with great mentalities. When Zlatan (Ibrahimovic) came in, he was a perfect example of wanting to win and obviously Jose (Mourinho) too, he wanted to win.
Lingard scored twice on his Hammers debut this month as he looks to ‘return to the Old Jesse’
‘It rubbed off on the likes of me and Marcus (Rashford) when we were young and coming through so I can bring that experience to West Ham and I know what it feels like to win.
‘I’m sure the lads are dying to win every game so it’s that focus and mind-set you need going into each game to win it.’
Lingard also still has aspirations of getting back into the England squad after losing his place in the Three Lions side.
He said: ‘It’s there in my mind, I have my own targets that I have wrote down before I came to West Ham and as long as I can hit them, we’ll see which doors open for me.
‘For now I’m concentrating on winning games for West Ham and playing regular football and getting back smiling and back to the old Jesse again.’
Lingard still has aspirations of working his way back into the England picture in the future
Watch West Ham v Sheffield United on BT Sport 1 from 6:00pm this evening. With the BT Sport Monthly Pass fans will be able to catch all the action on BT Sport for the next 30 days for just £25 contract free. Visit www.bt.com for more information.
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