Jesse Lingard pleased with his progress under Jose Mourinho at Man United

by Leo Nieboer

Jesse Lingard has been reflecting on a good year at Manchester United, insisting that he – and indeed the entire squad – has made progress under Jose Mourinho.

The 24-year-old became a regular under Louis van Gaal back in November 2015 and capped off a strong debut campaign in emphatic style with a winning goal in the FA Cup final back in May.

He has made 15 appearances under Mourinho, primarily on the right hand side, netting three goals in the process.

Lingard, speaking with MUTV earlier this week, was clearly full of enthusiasm when reflecting on his past year and the future under Mourinho.

“I feel I’ve had a good year,” he said. “There have been a lot of ups – the FA Cup, getting into the England squad… I’ve achieved a lot of things and it’s put me in good stead for 2017.”

“I’m always going to look back on the good times from this year and I know there are good times ahead. I want to pick up as many trophies as I can. I got two this year and hopefully I can pick up a few more.

“If the lads stick together and win the games we should be winning then I don’t see why we can’t be in a good position in May and challenging for the title.

“We’ve found our match rhythm now. A lot of players are playing their part and helping us win games. I think the defence has been very good for us, particularly over the last three or four games. We need to keep that going over the Christmas period and if we can do that it will put us in a good place in January.”

You may not remember 2016 fondly, but Lingard certainly will. The youngster, seemingly consigned to various loan spells at Championship clubs, has cemented himself as a first team regular over the past year with a series of lively, dedicated performances on the flanks.

But following a year hallmarked by that goal at Wembley, alongside a catalogue of sensational performances (the Manchester derby back in March and, more recently, the 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion both serve as examples), some supporters still haven’t completely warmed to the Englishman. Maybe it’s just because he owns a mask of his own face and wears elf-themed Christmas jumpers – I don’t know.

Nonetheless, Lingard will be determined to take his meteoric rise to prominence into 2017, winning over various doubters in the process.

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