Manchester United forward, Jesse Lingard, has admitted that he and his club teammates are guilty of playing against Premier League’s less glamorous sides with wrong mentality.
United coached by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s looked to have turned their season around, following back-to-back victories over Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City, but the enthusiasm built by the victories quickly evaporated.
United were held at home by a then managerless Everton two weeks ago, before they became the first team to lose a league game at Watford this season, after the 2-0 defeat last Sunday.
Lingard, who was guilty of missing a glorious chance at Vicarage Road when the game was still goalless, fears his colleagues are only capable of raise their games against the league’s top sides.
“It’s strange. Maybe it’s a mindset thing. Maybe it’s our mentality going into the match thinking we’ve already won the game,” he told Daily Mail.
“If we keep the consistency and mentality we had against City and Tottenham, I don’t see why we can’t win every game. It seems like our mentality changes. To keep that consistency throughout the rest of the season when we come against the mid-table teams, we need to have the same mentality that we did going into the City and Tottenham game.
“When we start with energy and on the front foot, we’ll cause team problems all day long”.
Lingard recently won his place back in the team, following one of the most difficult times of his career.
He revealed that his form was affected by health issues affecting his mother.
The 27-year-old now feels he is on the verge of returning to his best form, and insists it would not be long until he returns to scoring and providing assists on a regular basis.
“I feel I’ve got my form back now and I’m back to my old self. Obviously form is going to be up and down. When you’re in a bad patch you’ve just got to fight through it, listen to the manager and the coaches, work hard on the training pitch and give 110 per cent. I’ve done that and I feel really sharp.“I always like to make an impact – goal and assists or work-rate and helping the team. I thoroughly enjoy doing that. ‘Since I was young I’ve always been fit and like to stay sharp and be a box-to-box player. For me to play in that No 10 role you have to run, attack and defend. ‘If you constantly do that for 90 minutes, of course you’re going to get tired, but if you can do it consistently it helps the team,” he added.