Jesse Lingard joined Nottingham Forest from Manchester United in the summer as a free agent.
Forest and manager Steve Cooper broke their wage structure to sign the United academy graduate who rebuffed a move to West Ham in favour of the City Ground.
However, it has not been a rosy affair for the 29-year-old since his switch to the newly-promoted side.
Lingard has struggled to replicate his West Ham form for Forest, enduring a first few miserable months at his new club.
The player is still yet to contribute a goal or an assist, with his stuttering form culminating in a horrendous showing in the heavy defeat against Leicester City on Monday.
The England international failed to complete a key pass or a cross, with his only shot in the match ending up off target, barely threatening Danny Ward.
He actually contributed to Leicester’s opening goal after his errant clearance found James Maddison, who was only too happy to guide the ball to the back of the net in brilliant fashion.
He was substituted in the 68th minute after picking up a yellow card.
On Lingard, Cooper said, “Jesse and I get on great. I’ve reminded him that he only came in shortly before the start of the season.”
“He’s actually done a lot, from missing pre-season to where he is now in terms of physical status. We don’t want to see Jesse not starting games; that’s not why he’s here.”
Going on in his defence of the midfielder, the Forest manager added, “He hasn’t been poor. Don’t get me wrong, he hasn’t been bad and a lot of the time he’s been good but we know he’s a really talented guy. We’re seeing that in training.”
The under-fire Cooper, who could also be on the way out with reports suggesting Rafa Benitez could be coming in as a replacement, backed Lingard to find his form and start contributing in the way of goals and assists soon enough.
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