Jesse Lingard admits he suffered a World Cup hangover - but is ready to boost Jose Mourinho’s flagging attack.
Manchester United have been forced to rely on Anthony Martial’s stunning goal scoring form as Romelu Lukaku, Marcus Rashford and Alexis Sanchez have all struggled this season.
Lukaku scored for the first time since September in United’s 2-2 draw with Southampton at the weekend, but was immediately dropped for Wednesday’s clash with Arsenal.
Rashford has only scored one in his last 12 games, while Sanchez has one all season and is now out until the New Year with a torn hamstring.
Lingard earned United a point against Arsenal, with his second half strike levelling the game at 2-2.
After recovering from a groin injury that dogged him since the World Cup, the England international says he’s now back to full fitness and ready to provide Mourinho with the boost his attack needs.
“I always start scoring in December,” said the 25-year-old. “Coming off the World Cup, I played a lot of games over the course of last season and it kind of took its toll.
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"I wasn't really 100 per cent fit.
“We didn't get much rest obviously in the summer after the World Cup, so coming back there's always going to be little niggles here and there.
“It was an enjoyable summer - a good season for me on a personal level last season.
"I wanted to kickstart this season in the same form and obviously you have setbacks throughout the season, but it's how you bounce back.
“Obviously it got to a point where I couldn't carry on, so that break did me well and I am raring to go now.”
Mourinho accused his team of repeatedly shouting themselves in the foot after twice going behind against Arsenal.
Lingard agrees United have to stop making life difficult for themselves - but believes their latest comeback is further evidence of the character of the squad.
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"I think it's always been an area that we obviously never give up,” he said. “You've seen over the years the comebacks that United have made, so for us it’s to just keep that spirit alive and never give up.
“I think we believe as a squad (we can reach the top four).
"It's a long way to go in the season, so for us it's about taking every game as it comes and trying to get the three points.
“There's always pressure on people's shoulders when it comes to Man United and it's how you deal with the pressure.”More about: | Jose Mourinho | Jesse Lingard