REUTERS – Jesse Lingard’s first senior Manchester United goal in Saturday’s 2-0 Premier League win over West Bromwich Albion has given the winger the confidence and belief that he can become a regular fixture in the first team.
The 22-year-old academy graduate, who has featured in the club’s last seven games, struck in the 52nd minute, curling the ball into far corner before Juan Mata wrapped up the victory with a penalty in added time.
“Yeah, it was (a dream come true). I’ve been a bit rash with my finishing recently but to be composed in that situation was good and I am glad it went in,” the England under-21 international told the club’s website (www.manutd.com).
“I’m definitely growing in confidence. The manager has put faith in me to start some really important games so my confidence is obviously sky high,” he added of coach Louis van Gaal.
“I had to work hard in training and I’ve got my rewards. Now I need to be consistent with my performances as I know the manager likes that from his players.
“If I can carry on like this then that will obviously be great for me.”
Van Gaal, who handed first team debuts to defenders Axel Tuanzebe and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson on Saturday, said he would continue to call on United’s academy to fill gaps in his squad.
“It is the way I lead this club. I don’t want a big selection because when you have a big selection it doesn’t give any chance to the young players,” the Dutchman said.
“That is why I have sold a lot of players and have a lot out on loan. It means we only have a squad of 21 outfield players and three goalkeepers.
“So when there are injuries and illnesses, I have to look at the youth allocation with my youth coaches Warren Joyce and Paul McGuinness.”
(Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by John O’Brien)