Lingard aims dig at Man Utd boss Solskjaer: I deserved my chance

Robin Bairner
Robin Bairner Updated: 19 May 2021 15:43 BST 2 min read
Lingard aims dig at Man Utd boss Solskjaer: I deserved my chance

Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard has said he did not get his opportunity to shine under manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer before he was shipped out on loan to West Ham in January.

Lingard says that he returned from lockdown in great shape and felt that he merited game time for the Red Devils.

However, the influence of Bruno Fernandes in the Man Utd midfield meant that he was extremely peripheral and played only three cup ties for the Old Trafford club this term before his switch to West Ham.

“I came back one of the strongest and fittest [at United] after the [first] 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,” he told BT Sport.

“So for me it’s about working hard and staying dedicated and I went back to basics.”

Now at West Ham, Lingard appears to be enjoying his football again, having scored a double on his debut against Aston Villa.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

Lingard’s West Ham are up to fifth in the Premier League, while Man Utd continue to sit second under Solskjaer.