I Haven't Seen Him Fazed At All - Jesse Lingaard

Manchester United wonder, Jesse Lingard has backed his team mate, Marcus Rashford to shine for England and insists captain Wayne Rooney should not be criticised. 

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Rashford, 18, has been tipped to start Saturday's World Cup Qualifier against Malta at Wembley as club and country team-mate Rooney struggles for form.

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Lingard, who plays with the pair at Old Trafford, has been impressed by Rashford's start to the season which has seen the 18-year-old net four goals in nine United games.

Lingard said: 

I haven't seen him fazed at all. He's got a love for the game and every day he's got a ball at his feet.

He's still young as well so I think things are coming together for him just right at the moment, and hopefully he can carry it on.

Over the months, he has matured a lot from making his debut to now. He's gained a lot of experience at international level and in the Premier League and other competitions.

He's coming along nicely now but we can't forget he's only young - he's still going to grow and he's still going to be get bigger. We'll have to wait and see what he does after that.

I think it [scoring] would be massive for him. His confidence is already high anyway but if he scored on Saturday that would make him more confident.

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First and foremost, we've got to win the game and we'll see what happens after that. His confidence is getting better all the time - he scores in most of the games he plays in, or he's had a hand in the goals.

So he's contributing well for the club and hopefully he can carry that on.

Rashford is starting ahead of Rooney at Old Trafford, although Rooney has kept the England armband after Gareth Southgate replaced Sam Allardyce.

Rooney has just one goal in 11 games for club and country this season and has been dropped by United boss Jose Mourinho, but Lingard believes his influence and quality should not be underestimated.

I think that really because [of what he's achieved] no one can say anything [bad] about him really, Lingaard continued.

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He's been a top professional on and off the field for us and we look up to him as well. He's determined to get back and hopefully he can do that.

I think he's very determined [to win his place back]. Even though he hasn't been playing for the club, he's still supporting us and he's going to get back into the fold.

He's remained captain here which is great and that will be great for his confidence as well. I've known Wayne for a long time and he's very determined to play. He's got a love for the game which hasn't left him.

For the club he's a great leader for us - as young lads we can speak to him whenever we want and he always helps the young lads, which is good. He's been doing it now for a couple of years.

Lingard has scored in his last two appearances at Wembley, netting the winner in United's 2-1 FA Cup final win over Crystal Palace in May and the opener in their 2-1 Community Shield victory over Leicester in August.

England also go to Slovenia on Tuesday, and Lingard, who has played for Southgate for the U21s, believes the interim boss can be a success as he waits for a senior debut.

I've played under the manager [Gareth Southgate] for many years and I know what he's about and he knows what I can do, he said.

He's very laid back and relaxed but as soon as you get on a football pitch, he's determined to get the team right. It's up to Gareth to pick the team and whoever impresses in training will play.


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