Jesse Lingard is loving life under Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho ahead of their Premier League kick-off against Bournemouth on Sunday.
The United academy graduate was facing a somewhat uncertain future at the club as Mourinho splurged on Henrikh Mkhitaryan to add to other competitors for Lingard’s spot in the squad like Juan Mata and Wayne Rooney.
But the youngster has impressed in pre-season, most notably with a stunning solo goal in United’s 2-1 Community Shield triumph over Premier League champions Leicester City last Saturday.
And while Lingard admits this pre-season has been one of the hardest he has been a part of, he paid tribute to the Portuguese boss for keeping the mood light in the camp.
“He’s the main coach and the main manager,” said the 23-year-old.
“He takes all the sessions and, while he wants us to work hard, he is always cracking jokes and having banter with the players.
“I thought he’d be very strict but, even though he works us hard and his mind is always on the job at all times, he also has a joke with the players.
“I think that has helped the lads bond with him.
“He has that presence and aura about him, but you can still speak to him about anything and he will always try to help.”