Manchester United’s impressive youngsters are fearless, according to Jesse Lingard.
Lingard, a United academy graduate himself, has warned Everton that they should not expect him and his younger team-mates to be overawed by the sense of occasion ahead of what will be a first run out at Wembley for many of them.
Lingard is the most senior player of the likes of Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Tim Fosu-Mensah, who are all in consideration for the crunch semi-final.
“I am pretty much fearless, like the other young players as well that are coming into the squad now like Rashford and Martial,” he said.
“We just play with no fear and at the end of the day you are just playing football with your friends, pretty much. We are still adapting and getting used to it and that means we are going to be far more confident next year as well.
“But obviously now you still have to win the game. We have got a trophy to win and league games to win to get into the top four so everyone has got to be at it.
“To win the FA Cup would give everyone a lift – the fans, the staff at the club and everyone can go into next season a lot stronger and more confident.”
And the 23-year-old relishes leading his younger team-mates in battle, as seen in the most recent Manchester derby when the slight-framed attacking midfielder shoved the likes of Martin Demichelis, Eliaquim Mangala and others who were roughing up 18-year-old Rashford.
“Things like that … you can’t be getting pushed around by three City guys so someone had to step in,” the United winger said.
“On the pitch you are never going to really fight but I was squaring up to Fernandinho. It’s one of them where it’s an intense game so something was bound to happen.”
Lingard was at Wembley when United lost the 2011 Champions League final to Barcelona and remembers the enormity of the occasion.
“I remember watching the Barcelona game with the rest of the youth lads and thinking, ‘This is massive, with a massive pitch and a great atmosphere’,” he said.
“I’ve been there a few times and haven’t played so I just want to be out there playing.”
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