By 90Min
April 21, 2018

Jesse Lingard has opened up about his match-winning FA Cup strike in 2016 and how it was the boost he needed to know he could make it at Manchester United.

The winger, who has been in startlingly good form for the Red Devils this term, told the Daily Mail that his goal at Wembley against Crystal Palace two seasons ago was the confidence shot he needed at a time when he feared for his United future.

Lingard explained that he felt he was too small and diminutive to ever make the grade at Old Trafford, with starts being fleeting and the bulk of his game time coming from the bench.

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But he revealed how much of a "relief" it was to score that extra-time winner and prove to himself he had what it takes to play for one of England's finest football institutions.

He said: "It was a huge sigh of relief for me. There was a weight lifted off my shoulders with that goal. It really helped my confidence.

"Everyone is different, aren’t they? I am bubbly and I try to take that on to the pitch and enjoy the moments when it goes well. You have to. But it’s a long, hard road coming through an academy system, especially at a club like United. Supporters don’t always see that. 

"You see the players here on the wall who came before me. It’s a lot to live up to. But I feel settled now. I am really happy."

United's last chance of winning some silverware this term comes in the form of the FA Cup, with a semi-final showdown with Tottenham set to be played out at the national stadium on Saturday.

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(You may also be interested in 3 Key Battles That Could Decide the FA Cup Semi Final Between Man Utd & Tottenham on Saturday)

Lingard, who has notched 13 goals and seven assists in 43 games this season, admitted that it was sore to lose the Premier League title to bitter rivals Manchester City, but added that the fans and players had to take heart from this campaign if they finished second and lifted England's most prestigious cup trophy.

He said: "I don’t think it will be totally successful but we need to win a trophy to make the season good.

"Winning the Premier League is always the priority and if not we have to keep second position. If we do that and win the Cup I think that’s a good season. Second really matters to us. Even if first is the target. We have to be up there. You learn that very early at this club."

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