Lingard ready to reboot his season
Jesse Lingard feels he is ready to reboot his 2018/19 campaign and rekindle his form of last season for Manchester United and England.
Lingard, who’ll turn 26 a week on Saturday, scored 13 goals for United last term and continued on a high into the World Cup in Russia, where he scored a trademark spectacular goal against Panama.
But 2018/19 has been dogged by a groin injury carried over from his exertions in 2017/18 and his summer international duty for the Three Lions. Lingard’s equaliser against Arsenal to earn United a 2-2 draw at Old Trafford on Wednesday night was actually his first club goal of the campaign.
The midfielder now hopes his stop-start season will now begin to gain some momentum.
“Coming off the World Cup, I played a lot of games over the course of last season and it kind of took its toll,” Jesse told reporters after the Arsenal game.
“We didn't get much rest obviously in the summer after the World Cup, so coming back there's always going to be little niggles here and there.
“Obviously it got to a point where I couldn't carry on, so that break has been good for me and I am raring to go now. I wasn't really 100 per cent fit, but I’m fully fit now and I can't wait to kick on.
“It was an enjoyable summer and a good season for me on a personal level last season. I wanted to kickstart this season in the same form and obviously you have setbacks throughout, but it's how you bounce back.”
United as a squad need to start bouncing back after three Premier League draws against Crystal Palace, Southampton and Arsenal caused the loss of six points in the race for the top four.
But the spirited display against Arsenal was encouraging, given how the Reds twice fought back to quickly draw level after going behind.
“We had to put on a performance for the fans and show the passion on the pitch for them,
“ said Jesse.
”I felt we deserved more. We worked hard throughout the game. We started off very well and I thought we probably did deserve more than the draw.
“We knew that Arsenal like to press and they like to nip at things and bite at things, so we had to put them on the back foot straightaway. The way we started got the crowd up on their feet and it kind of gave us a buzz after that.
“You've seen over the years the comebacks that United have made, so we just keep that spirit alive and never give up.
“It would be a help obviously if we could start going in front. Leading the game, especially going in at half-time, always puts you in a comfortable position and if we can do that now for the remainder of this season it would help us.”