Man Utd: Solskjaer hints at future role for Lingard
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Manchester United star Jesse Lingard has admitted his recent error against Young Boys in the Champions League was probably the ‘worst mistake’ of his career. The England international has scored two goals so far this season, as well as registering one assist. And he’ll be hoping to add to those stats when his side lock horns with Everton in their Premier League showdown this afternoon.
Last month, United travelled to Young Boys expecting to put the Swiss minnows to the sword.
Things got off to the perfect start when Cristiano Ronaldo notched the opening goal of the game, with the Portugal international finishing after a sumptuous pass from Bruno Fernandes.
However, then things went wrong.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka received a straight red card, with Young Boys then going on to win 2-1 after rallying.
In the closing stages, Lingard gifted the Swiss side a winner – prompting a strong backlash on social media in the process.
He then responded by scoring a dramatic winner against West Ham a few days later in a 2-1 victory at the London Stadium.
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And, speaking ahead of today’s match with Everton, the playmaker has confessed his error against Young Boys was the ‘worst’ of his career.
“Obviously, it was a mistake [against Young Boys], and it’s probably the worst mistake I’ve made in my whole career playing football, to be honest,” he told club media.
“But things like that happen, it’s a mistake, we’re human, I didn’t see the guy and obviously he’s scored.
“Of course, you’re going to get people chatting rubbish online, but I don’t read into that, I’m too grown up for that now.
“I got back on the training pitch the next day and back to work and I concentrated on facing West Ham, and that’s how it is.
“That’s football; you get a chance to redeem yourself and bounce back and I thought I did that in great style.”
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Lingard also opened up on the mental health battles he’s gone through over the past year, and admitted a loan spell with West Ham last term was vital to turning the situation around.
“I think people on the outside think we’re robots, but we’re human beings at the end of the day,” he said.
“Things can happen off the field that can obviously affect your physical performance on the field and your mental performance as well, but if you hide and try and brave it with a smile, it’s never good.
“At the time, I just wasn’t me, even my own family could see it wasn’t me; I was doing things that I’d never done in my whole life and it was just one of those phases I went through and I had to try and pick myself up and get back on my feet.
“I spoke to the manager at various times about getting me out on loan in January because I wasn’t getting the game-time at United.
“He allowed that and then it was just about me knuckling down and focusing on what I needed to do at West Ham, and that was to do well, score goals, make assists and try and break back into the England side.
“From the start of the season not being in the England side to the end of the season getting into the 33 [man squad] before the Euros was a massive achievement and it just showed what you can do with hard work, concentration and dedication.
“When you’re at your lowest, you think you’re never going to get out of that, but there’s always an option to do that.
“Like I say you’ve just got to bite the bullet and grit your teeth and knuckle down and that’s what I did.
“As soon as I went on loan I was ready from the get-go to play.
“The lads were brilliant there, I knew David Moyes from United and he gave me that freedom to go and play, and that licence to entertain.”
Lingard’s future is currently up in the air.
His deal expires at the end of the campaign and, at the moment, he’s not signed a renewal.
But Lingard has insisted he’s solely focused on United.
“Obviously I’m contracted at United and to come back after being at West Ham I was confident and I’m still confident now,” he added.
”I feel in form at the moment and with the minutes I’ve got I’ve done well.
“I’m raring to go and ready to play.”
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