“I came back one of the strongest and fittest after the lockdown and I didn’t get my chance that I was waiting on.”
Jesse Lingard has insisted he was “one of the strongest and fittest” players at Manchester United last season.
Lingard was speaking after West Ham United’s 3-3 draw at home to Arsenal.
It was ultimately a disappointing result for the Hammers given they were 3-0 up but the Manchester United loanee gave another good performance under manager David Moyes.
The Man United academy graduate spoke to Sky Sports after the game and explained how he has recaptured some of his old form.
“During the lockdown I recapped my best moments playing football,” Lingard said.
“The season under Jose where I scored all of those goals and went to the World Cup and the season when Ole came in and I started well.
“So I started recapping a lot of games to see where I did well, getting that fire in my belly and drive again to go and kick on because it would have been easy for me to fall off and take the easy option out.
“But a person like me who’s been through a lot and knows the game, I can’t just give it up like and I’ll always go out with a fight.”
?"We dropped off a bit."
Jesse Lingard says that West Ham lost concentration after being 3-0 up to then go on and draw 3-3 with Arsenal pic.twitter.com/zIpaF77VlM
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) March 21, 2021
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The 28-year-old insisted he came back one of the fittest players after lockdown but – despite his improved fitness – did not get a look-in under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
“I came back one of the strongest and fittest after the lockdown and I didn’t get my chance that I was waiting on,” Lingard continued.
“But the whole time I was there and not playing I was doing extra training and keeping on top of my fitness for when the time was right.
“So for me it’s about working hard and staying dedicated, and I went back to basics.”
— Jesse Lingard (@JesseLingard) March 21, 2021
Lingard’s improved performances for West Ham have earned him a recall to Gareth Southgate’s England squad and he has admitted that the upcoming Euro Championship has been on his mind.
“It’s there in my mind,” he added.
“I have my own targets that I have wrote down before I came to West Ham and as long as I can hit them, we’ll see which doors open for me.
“For now I’m concentrating on winning games for West Ham and playing regular football and getting back smiling and back to the old Jesse again.”