Lingard looking for capital gains
Jesse Lingard is confident Manchester United can extend our record unbeaten away run in the Premier League, when tackling his former club West Ham United on Sunday.
The England international enjoyed a brilliant spell with the Hammers last season, helping them qualify for the Europa League, in which they started with a 2-0 win at Dinamo Zagreb in Croatia on Thursday.
Although surely guaranteed a warm reception at the London Stadium, Lingard's focus is, naturally, purely on helping the Reds take the points and stretching the record string of games without defeat on the road to 29 games. Number 28 was racked up with United's 1-0 win at Wolves before the international break.
While some will point to games being played behind closed doors as a possible factor in the impressive unbeaten stretch, Lingard would argue that the lack of the loyal away support had been a big miss for the Reds.
"Away games can be tough but having the fans there backing us, week in and week out, always helps us and gives us that boost. They're brilliant," said Jesse.
"Obviously, it's down to us on the day to perform and get the three points and we've done tremendously in the league away trips recently.
“I think it's always good to start on the right foot, to remain positive and get the results in early, scoring lots of goals. The fans have been brilliant. We missed playing in front of fans and they have been a huge help.
“Even though I was not involved in the Leeds game, the atmosphere was just unreal. When Ronny [Cristiano Ronaldo] came back the other day, Old Trafford was bouncing. I'd never experienced it like that before, to be honest. I know the fans can really help and I think they have done.
"The next few games are going to be tough, but we have got the strength and depth in the squad to win the games and get the three points in all of them."
Jesse only has fond memories of his time in the claret-and-blue colours of West Ham and there is no doubt he was a major driving force behind their qualification for Europe.
"Like I've said, it was a reset for me personally, I wanted to play games, help the team get into the Europa League, which we did, and I enjoyed every moment of it," Jesse told us. "The lads were brilliant, the staff were brilliant and the fans supported me throughout.
“On a personal level, it was about getting minutes, doing well for myself and trying to get back into the England side but, as a collective, Europe was massive for West Ham and one of the goals we wanted to get to.
“The manager gave me the freedom up top to roam about, get on the ball and try to make things happen. With the run of games I had, the confidence kicks in and, once you've scored one, then two and three start going into the back of the net. I wasn't short of confidence playing and it was one of the best half-seasons I've had so it was a brilliant experience.
“Obviously, you don't get into Europe if you're not a good side. West Ham are well organised and can counter quick and be hard to break down. So it's going to be a tough game and we've got to be at it, if we want to get the three points. We've trained well so we'll go into the game confident."