Jesse Lingard: Gareth Southgate told us to play without fear

by Marwan Harraz

Manchester United star Jesse Lingard has claimed that Gareth Southgate has told the England players to play without fear in the World Cup in Russia.

The Three Lions have often been criticised in the past for playing with too much pressure on their shoulders which has seen them underperform on the big stages.

Southgate has taken a pretty young squad with him to the international tournament with Ashley Young the oldest member but there’s still excitement on how far they can go.

It’s the English manager’s first tournament with the nation and so it’ll be a steep learning curve for him though they are still expected to qualify from the group stages.

Lingard believes the mentality Gareth has installed in the squad will help them go far in Russia but has called for his teammates to take things one step at a time.

According to Sky Sports, Jesse said: “Southgate has come in with the mentality to play with freedom, play without fear, and you will enjoy your time more.

“So, as a group of players, that is what we are going to do – enjoy our football, play with no fear and play exciting football at the same time.

“Of course, we want to go all the way to the final, but we are going to take each game as it comes and prepare for each game as we normally do.”

A debate has started amongst England fans on whether Lingard or Tottenham’s Dele Alli should start for the nation since they’re both similar players.

The United attacker has insisted though that there’s no reason they both can’t play together which is certainly a prospect Southgate has considered before when perhaps facing stubborn opposition.

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