Rashford stole the show in the first half against Burton Albion on Wednesday night, netting a brace within 17 minutes to put the game out of sight before laying on an assist for Anthony Martial on the hour mark.
And Lingard, making his first start since the UEFA Super Cup, netted his side’s third – albeit via a massive deflection – to round off a silky move that started in United’s half.
Speaking after the game, Lingard shed light on how, along with Rashford, he sets himself secret challenges for each game, whilst also looking towards more long term ambitions.
“I think I’d like more goals and assists coming into play this year,” he said. “Marcus and I have set little targets for ourselves. In each game, we set them ourselves, but that’s our little secret and we have our own ambitions as well. Hopefully we can achieve them.”
“Each game, he’s improving and he wants to work hard and learn from the best,” added Lingard. “As long as he keeps scoring goals, people will talk highly about him.”
You need techniques in order to maintain your resolve at the highest level. Coasting and losing focus is synonymous with falling out of touch altogether. Staying sharp between the ears on a daily basis is the bare minimum required to succeed at a club of United’s magnitude.
And Lingard and Rashford, both reared in United’s academy, know this better than most. Setting yourself personal goals creates a battle that is far more winnable than trying to eclipse somebody else. They have both approached life in the first team with a ruthless mentality, always busting their gut to go that extra yard, and supporters will hope to see it continue.