Jesse Lingard has insisted that Manchester United are capable of bouncing back against Manchester City on Sunday following the team’s disappointing exit from the Europa League.
Man United drew 1-1 on the night and lost 3-1 on aggregate at Old Trafford after Philippe Coutinho cancelled out Anthony Martial’s penalty.
It was the latest in a series of lows for United but Lingard backed his teammates to stay positive ahead of the derby against City.
“I remember coming on against City earlier in the season, that was a massive feeling, and I nearly scored as well,” Lingard said.
”You watch big games like this one when you are growing up and you want to be involved. It’s going to be a tough match as always, but we are going to be ready and prepared. Hopefully we can go there with the right mindset and a creative game plan. Everyone will be ready and we’ll believe [we can win the game] on Sunday.
“I thought we had tempo and energy through the whole game against Liverpool, and obviously our fans gave us that energy too. I don’t see why we can’t produce that in every game and push for that top-four spot.”
When asked about the Liverpool result, Lingard added: “Obviously we are disappointed, the first leg made it hard for us and coming into the second leg we knew had a big task on our hands. When we scored the first goal all the fans were behind us, and our momentum was there. We dominated the play and created a lot of chances, but the Coutinho goal just before half-time killed us.”
City are in poor form themselves but it’s hard to imagine United getting a positive result out of them on Sunday, such has been the systematic abolishment of any sort of optimism at Old Trafford this term.
It is clear that Louis van Gaal’s turgid brand of football has no place at United but officials at the club seem to have made the bizarre decision to keep him in his role until the end of the campaign.