Manchester United loanee Jesse Lingard said he was not offered the chance to prove himself at Old Trafford this season.
Lingard was a regular in the early days of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s tenure at the club but gradually began to fall down the pecking order. He managed only 41 Premier League minutes after last year’s lockdown and did not play at all this time around, only being permitted to leave West Ham on loan in January.
In Monday’s 3-0 victory over Sheffield United, he hit the ground running under David Moyes, bagging two goals on his debut and winning a penalty, before Lingard only spurred him on more before claiming his time at United on the fringes.
“I recapped my best moments playing football during the lockdown-the season under Jose (Mourinho) where I scored all those goals and went to the World Cup and the season when Ole came in and I began well,” he told BT Sport.
“I started to replay a lot of games and see where I did well, get the fire in my belly and motivation to go and kick on again because it would have been easy for me to fall off and take the easy choice out. But I can’t just give it up and I’ll still go out with a fight, a person like me who has been through a lot and knows the game.
After the lockdown, I came back one of the strongest and fittest and I didn’t get my chance I was waiting for, but I was doing extra training and staying on top of my fitness for when the time was right the whole time I was there and not playing. So it’s about working hard and remaining loyal to me, and I went back to basics.”