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Jesse Lingard is hungry for more goals this season – that is why he should be supported…

Manchester United attacking midfielder Jesse Lingard has spoken about how “hungry for more goals” he is after scoring his seventh goal of the season against West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns on Sunday afternoon. It was the eleventh goal Lingard has played a part in this season, scoring seven and assisting a further four – his best season for his club. Lingard’s goal, a deflected strike turned into the winner, the score being 2-0 at the time but the Baggies got a goal back in the second half of the match with United taking all three points back to the Theatre of Dreams.

Lingard, speaking to the official Manchester United website, spoke about his new central role, playing as a number ten in a 4-2-3-1 formation shows that he can have more impact in a game, which has been shown recently which him scoring three goals in the last three away matches, the most important being the goal at the Emirates against Arsenal in what was seen as a great result for United. Lingard, on his new-found position, said:

“Obviously playing further forward you are going to get more goals and create chances also, so to play there with Romelu [Lukaku] means we are getting that understanding now and chipping in [with goals] together.

“I [played there] when I was younger and, when I got into the Reserves side, I played more on the left or the right for my development, but eventually moved inside again. I think [playing centrally] you get on the ball a lot more and you can make things happen more and you can obviously play closer to the main striker and feed off him.

“I’m hungry for more goals and any way I can help the team – assists, goals – and to win the game is the most important thing.”

Speaking about the game itself, Lingard spoke about how vital he thought the result was. United were defeated by Manchester City in the league the weekend before last but have now beaten both Bournemouth and West Brom since that match, which shows how the club have fought back from the disappointing defeat. United have four matches left in December; three in the Premier League and one in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday evening. Lingard said:

“It’s another three points. I thought we defended very well and it was comfortable first half and we kind of let it slip second half but it’s another three points.

“To bounce back with a win [was important]. We’re doing very well on the whole at the moment. Keep that up and we’ll see where we are at the end of the season.”

Manchester City sit eleven points clear of United at the top of the Premier League table after 18 matches being played in the league. Many have written United’s chances – or any other team for the matter this season with City suggested to be the best team ever, which is a label that makes me wonder how much these pundits are being paid to state something so pathetic. United have won six trophies since Sir Alex Ferguson retired – the worst period of the club in recent history. City have won fewer trophies but are ‘apparently’ an all-time great club? Lingard speaking about whether United can catch City, said:

“I think, any other season, we would be top with the points we have, so as long as we keep winning games that’s the most important thing and we will see where we are. We will take each game as it comes, we’ll concentrate on the next game ahead and see where we are at the end of the season.

“With the squad we have got we have to always believe in each game. Some games we will play bad and win the game and sometimes we will play good and lose the game so it’s one of those hap hazards of football.”

Lingard turned 25 in the past week and spoke about passing on his knowledge to the younger players in the squad. Being an Academy graduate and one who rose through the ranks in Jose Mourinho’s side last season, the most successful season post-Ferguson, his experiences could help players such as Scott McTominay, Axel Tuanzebe and to a point Marcus Rashford. Lingard concluded by saying:

“Obviously, I look after the other ones – Scott [McTominay], Axel [Tuanzebe], Rash [Marcus Rashford]. I have just got to keep working hard on the training pitch.

“I think you have got to help them. I think it’s always hard for a young lad coming through. For the likes of Scott who has done well when he has come in, Axel also, it’s just keep working hard in training and it will eventually pay off.”

Lingard is a player who has literally done what Sir Alex Ferguson suggested. He was a late developer and came good at the age he stated, 23. Whilst he may not be the best player at the Old Trafford club, he is a player who should be supported. When United were buying players under the management of Louis van Gaal, many were suggesting that Lingard, who had a good pre-season under David Moyes, should be given the chance. Now many seem to want to get rid of a player who literally defines the club – who for 80 years now have always blooded talented youth. Why should the club change to suit a minority of supporters who have adapted from celebrating United’s successes to moaning about them…

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