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Lingard prefers central role

Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard is hoping for more chances in the number 10 role after his big derby performance last month.

Lingard said he preferred to play behind the main striker, rather than on the wing where he has been deployed by manager Louis van Gaal.

The United academy graduate rated his performance against Manchester City – a game United won 1-0 – as his best of the season.

“Yeah, firstly it was my favourite and the gaffer said after the match it was my best game of the season. I enjoy playing in the number 10 role – I feel more comfortable, as you can get on the ball and create things,” he told United Review.

“And with Marcus [Rashford] scoring, obviously he’s another local boy to come through the ranks, it made the win even more enjoyable.

“I’ve always liked the number 10 position. You can get on the ball a lot more and attempt to dictate the play a lot more.

“I have been enjoying playing on the right and the left as well, though, and you’re going to play anywhere the gaffer wants you to play.”

Lingard said he was particularly pleased with the defensive side of his game during the performance and hoped it shook off any ideas that he is too lightweight to occupy a central role.

“Going up against Yaya Toure, he is one of the biggest of all the midfielders in the Premier League, so it was obviously a good test,” he said.

“Fernandinho came on and he’s a big guy as well, so it was a real test but I think all the young lads stood up to the task.

“We had the backing of Michael [Carrick] in midfield to give us a bit more experience towards the end, when we had to manage the game and see it out.

“It’s all about development and I had to play wide when I was younger because there were a lot of big lads in the midfield. Now I’m coming to the fore and handled myself against City so I don’t see why I can’t carry it on.”

Thu 7 Apr, 2016
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