Jesse Lingard Says 'I Feel Back to Myself' at Manchester UnitedDecember 10, 2019
Jesse Lingard has said he feels he is back to performing at his best after a period of poor form at Manchester United.
The Englishman started both of United's victories against Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City in the last week and impressed in the Red Devils attack:
Before the Spurs game, Lingard had not started any of United's previous seven league games, but he was effective off the bench in November's 3-3 comeback draw against Sheffield United.
He also captained United in their 2-1 UEFA Europa League loss to Astana at the end of last month and scored his first goal for the club in 10 months:
Speaking ahead of United's home clash against AZ Alkmaar on Thursday, Lingard acknowledged he had been enduring a period of under-performance before his recent upturn in form, per Sky Sports' Richard Cooke:
"I feel good, I feel back to myself, I feel fit, I feel sharp. I love working for the team, I love winning games and playing matches.
"Yes [the Jesse I know], he's back now, he's back, he is there. People go through dips in form. It's just about finding the right balance and getting back to your usual self, which I have.
"Of course you're frustrated when you're not playing. You've still got to have the right attitude and right mentality when you do go on and try to make an impact. I felt like I did against Sheffield United and from there I've kicked on."
United's back-to-back wins over Jose Mourinho's Spurs and Pep Guardiola's City have, for now, transformed the outlook of a side that had drawn against Sheffield United and Aston Villa in their two previous league games.
However, if the Red Devils do not beat Everton at Old Trafford on Sunday, they will have garnered fewer points from their opening 17 games of the 2019-20 Premier League season than they did last term, when Mourinho was sacked:
Adam Bate @ghostgoal
Manchester United sacked José Mourinho last December having picked up 26 points from 17 games. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needs to win the next three (Spurs, City & Everton) to better that total after the club spent big in the summer. Quite the feat to convince anyone this is progress.
If they can beat the Toffees, though, United will take significant momentum into the busy Christmas period, when they have winnable games against bottom-of-the-table Watford, Newcastle United and Burnley.
There is a distinct possibility United could put together six league wins on the bounce before the turn of the year, a sequence that would push them closer to the top four:
United's problem this season, though, has been getting the better of the smaller teams in the Premier League.
In matches against City, Spurs, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Leicester City in 2019-20, United have dropped just four points.
But they have picked up only four from fixtures with Villa, Sheffield United, Southampton, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Bournemouth, Newcastle United, West Ham United and Crystal Palace.