'To beat Everton we'll need to be on top form'
Jesse Lingard expects a tough afternoon when Manchester United travel to Merseyside to face Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday.
Both teams still have something to fight for as we enter the business end of the season with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side vying for a spot in the top four while our hosts are embroiled in a four-club fight for seventh spot along with Leicester City, Watford and Wolves.
With the Reds and the Toffees set to give their all on Easter Sunday, Jesse was under no illusions of the task in hand when he spoke to MUTV's Stewart Gardner ahead of the game.
"I think it’ll be a tough game. Both teams are fighting for something for the end of the season. It’s just as important for them as it is for us, so we’ll need to be on top form," he said.
"With the results they’ve been having against the top-six teams, it seems like a hard place to go. But if we’re on our game, we can get the win."
Jesse will be hoping for a repeat of our last visit to Goodison Park where his sumptuous strike on New Year's Day 2018 rounded off a 2-0 win for the Reds. The midfielder remembers the goal well and hopes to do it again at a ground he believes has one of the best atmospheres in the top flight.
"It’s up there as one of my best! I remember that goal. That was a big win, so hopefully we can do the same at the weekend.
"They are always enjoyable games against Everton. Goodison Park is an amazing place to play with the atmosphere and our fans behind us as well, so we need them backing us."
One player that Lingard is looking forward to catching up with is Michael Keane. The 26-year-old centre-back spent 11 years at United from boy to man before making a move to Burnley in 2015 and then joining the Merseyside outfit in the summer of 2017.
Jesse is pleased with how he and his former team-mate have progressed, with them both now firmly involved in the England national team set-up.
"I speak to Mike quite a bit," he said. "We did an interview together the other day. He seems settled now that he’s playing and he’s back in the England fold, so it’s going well for him.”
Lingard admits it's been a tough week for everyone following the disappointment of going out of the Champions League against Barcelona. But the Reds know the opportunity is there to get back into the competition next season and Jesse says the players are determined to grasp the opportunity.
"We know what’s on the line and what’s there to be had. Top four is massive, to obviously play in the Champions League next season. It’s a massive competition and United always deserve to be in there," he declared.
"Defeats [like the Barca one] can tend to linger but we know we have a big week ahead so Ole has tried to take our minds off it and concentrate on Everton, [Manchester] City and Chelsea. They are the three big games that we need to win.”
"We’ve got to be at 100 per cent in every game with the mindset to win and get three points, which is the most important thing.”
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