Jesse Lingard

Lingard honoured to captain United

Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard says it is an honour to be captaining his boyhood club for the first time.

We can reveal the England international will wear the armband for the first time when today's Europa League tie against Astana kicks off at 15:50 GMT. As one of the senior players on the trip, the 26-year-old is relishing the added responsibility of leading the team out.

Speaking to MUTV at the Astana Arena ahead of the team's open training session, Lingard said: “It's a massive honour.

Lingard: Captaining my club is an honourVideo

“I said at the start of the season I'd like to be more of a leader type of person, on and off the field. You know, being one of the most senior players in the squad.

”Now is the perfect time to show that.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer added on MUTV: “Jesse will be captain. He’s a really good character in this group. He’s had his challenges over the last few months but he’s coming back into his own now.”

Lingard is close to the youngsters desperate to show their qualities in the Europa League Group L tie in Kazakhstan.

Solskjaer has confirmed Di'Shon Bernard, Ethan Laird and Dylan Levitt will start and make their debuts.

“I know them inside out and they train with us, pretty much every day,” Jesse added. “You see the talent every day and hopefully they can show it out there.”

Jesse Lingard works out with D'Mani Mellor at Astana Arena.
Jesse Lingard works out with D'Mani Mellor at the Astana Arena.

Winning the game is important to Lingard, even though the Reds have already qualified for the knockout stages.

“I know we've pretty much qualified but, for the mentality, we know we need to win the game,” he said. “That's how we're going to prepare for it. I've been around a lot of the youngsters and you've got to lead the way, set an example and be a role model and I'll try to do that.”

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