Lingard targets first-team berth

Manchester United youngster Jesse Lingard has set his sights on breaking into the starting line-up at Old Trafford after making a number of eye-catching appearances this season.

The 22-year-old has featured mainly from the substitutes bench under manager Louis van Gaal this season after recovering from a long-term knee injury.

He has made six appearances in all competitions, including the midweek Champions League clash with CSKA Moscow, where he provided the assist for Wayne Rooney's goal.

"I want to keep being in and around the bench and coming on, hopefully even starting games," Lingard said. "That is my main aim now.

"It definitely gives us a lot of confidence to be playing for Manchester United as a youngster, and, as long as you keep working, you are always going to get your chance.

"Obviously, I've still got to be humble and keep my feet on the ground. I've not made it yet. There is a long way to go and I've still got to work hard on the training pitch to keep my place in the team."

Lingard's encouraging performances this season have given Van Gaal extra food for thought, with summer signing Memphis Depay struggling to produce the goods for the Red Devils.

The former Netherlands coach has hinted at more appearances for Lingard, and praised the youngster's physical attributes.

"He's doing well. That's why I want to keep him and why I have said his chances shall come," said Van Gaal.

"He has a lot of pace and I like pace on the wings. Now he has first assist also.

"I think he shall have a boost from this game because he played very well, in my opinion, and I hope he shall continue."

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