Lingard targets more Euro glory
Jesse Lingard is targeting the second Europa League trophy of his career in Cologne later this month, after helping Manchester United ease into the quarter-finals with a goal in the 2-1 Old Trafford win against LASK.
Man-of-the-Match Lingard scored our equaliser against the Austrians before Anthony Martial added a winner to help rack up a 7-1 last-16 aggregate triumph.
Now United move on to play FC Copenhagen in Germany in a one-off tie next Monday night. We are then looking to stay in the country to play the semi and final.
Lingard already has a Europa League winners' medal in his collection from United’s 2017 success in Stockholm against Ajax. But the 27-year-old wants more.
“A win is very positive, especially taking it into the next game [against Copenhagen]. We can take confidence from it, and finishing third in the Premier League as well,” Jesse told MUTV.
“We’ve done well and hopefully we can get to the final now and win that. That is our main aim now: to win that trophy.
“With the squad we have got and the personnel we have I feel like everyone is going to play a part. Throughout the build-up in this competition everyone has played their part.
“We can’t wait to get there and play this game now. 100 per cent I want to win it again.
“Lifting a trophy is a special feeling you can’t really explain and winning it before you take that confidence forward. We have got a mixture of youth and experience in the squad and for the young lads to win their first trophy, it will be perfect for them.”
United were ahead 5-0 from the first leg in Austria but LASK shocked the Reds by taking the lead at Old Trafford in the second half. And the goal was just the wake-up call the Reds needed.
“They came with nothing to lose and made it hard first half, but we stuck to the game plan and got through to the quarter-finals,” added Jesse.
“Maybe we were a bit slack and their goal did spark us into life to get the win and we eventually did it.”
Lingard’s leveller was his second in two matches, having scored at Leicester City in the final Premier League game of the season that secured our third-place finish and a ticket to the Champions League next term.
But Lingard admitted it wasn’t an easy finish after he was put through.
“Sometimes they are the hardest ones. You don’t know where the defender is and you have a lot of time, but you still have to think quick and check where the goalkeeper is. It wasn’t a worldie but I will take them all day,” he said.
“Goals give you confidence. It is great that I started tonight and I wanted to prove a point.”
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Lingard admitted he was disappointed to be substituted eight minutes after scoring but abides by manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s decision, and the boss was delighted with the midfielder’s contribution.
“Every player knows that when you get your chance, in a game or even in training, you’ve got a chance to prove yourself, prove your worth,” said the manager.
“I know Jesse, I’ve known Jesse since he’s been a little kid, and I know there’s a very good player and great personality to have around.
“He knows what we want from him and he knows that he has to stand by the manager whatever decision he makes.
“I would be disappointed if he was happy coming off, because he was growing in confidence. He’s worked really hard on his finishing, especially lately, and I’m happy for him to score.”