Lingard reacts to 'amazing' Youth Cup photo
A week on from Manchester United’s brilliant FA Youth Cup triumph, Jesse Lingard has praised our youngsters for the manner in which they clinched victory.
Jesse, of course, was part of the last United side to lift the trophy in 2011, scoring in the first leg against Sheffield United, and said our Under-18s showed ‘confidence’ and ‘played the Man United way’ throughout the tournament.
And he was made up to see the Reds beat Nottingham Forest 3-1 last Wednesday in front of a record 67,000-strong crowd.
“It’s brilliant. I think it's been a long time coming,” Jesse told club media.
“With the team that they had, I'm sure they must have had confidence in the way they got through to the final and getting the job done.
“We knew how hard it was when we were playing in the Youth Cup. We had a lot of tough games but we stuck together and played the Man United way.
“They did that, they stuck to their task and they won the Youth Cup, which is a huge honour.”
The post-match scenes in M16 will be cherished for years to come, as the lads embarked on a lap of honour and accepted the cup in front of the Sir Bobby Charlton Stand.
One particular photo of the dressing-room celebrations, featuring Sam Mather, Dan Gore, Kobbie Mainoo and Maximilian Oyedele, caught the eye.
The quartet recreated the poses of Ryan Tunnicliffe, Lingard, Paul Pogba and Ravel Morrison after they won the competition in 2011 (this story's main image), and Jesse was delighted to see the homage.
“I still remember the feeling of lifting the cup and I saw the pictures recreating us and that's an amazing thing.
“I spoke to a few of the lads: they wanted to do it, they wanted to recreate the photo, which was brilliant.”
Alejandro Garnacho, who scored twice in the final, has been one of several youngsters involved in first-team training recently and he made his senior debut against Chelsea in April.
Lingard hopes more of the Youth Cup winners get that chance in the coming seasons.
“They’ve been training with us and you can see that they've got talent. It's all about working hard.
“It’s always harder breaking into our first team but if they've got the opportunity, especially going on tour and travelling and gaining that experience, I’m sure, in the up and coming seasons, they’ll get games.”