'Rashford is flying!' - Lingard hails Man Utd striker and 'rock' Fred after upturn in fortunes

Marcus Rashford Manchester United 2019-20
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The England midfielder reserved special praise for two Red Devils team-mates following their recent performances in wins over Tottenham and Man City

Manchester United star Jesse Lingard has hailed the influence of Marcus Rashford and Fred during the club's recent improved run of form.

Wins over Tottenham and Manchester City in the Red Devils' last two Premier League matches have seen their hopes of finishing in the top four reignited just as questions were beginning to be asked of manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

England international Rashford scored three goals across the two matches while Fred, who has been much-maligned since his big-money arrival from Shakhtar Donetsk, impressed in midfield alongside Scott McTominay.

The victories also coincided with Lingard's return to the starting XI, but he was keen to show his appreciation for his team-mates.

"Rashford is flying," Lingard told  Goal  in an exclusive interview. "He is there to score goals, and he enjoys scoring goals.

"Every day he is practising in training and it is working on the pitch. Practice makes perfect, and he is always staying behind and practising on his shooting.

"I am not surprised. [He is] a proper Manc, he is born and bred here and he loves Manchester United."

On Fred he added: "In the last two games, he has been solid in midfield. He is a real rock. We can rely on him when we press high to back us.

"He has been doing really well at the moment. We just concentrate on our one job and that's to win the game."

Jesse Lingard

Solskjaer's side maintainted their good recent momentum with a 4-0 win over AZ on Thursday to secure top spot in their Europa League group, and will be looking for a fourth successive win when they host Everton at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Despite having a strong record against those teams towards the top of the table, United have struggled to break down some of the league's lesser sides.

Everton are unlikely to play an expansive game under caretaker manager Duncan Ferguson, and as such may provide a sterner test test for the Red Devils.

But Lingard believes the 2-1 win over City has provided the squad with a huge boost and allowed them to believe in their own ability once again.

Jesse Lingard quote GFX

"It was a huge win. We take so much confidence from that game. We look forward now. We don't want to dwell too long on it but it was a good solid performance. We have to believe in ourselves and back ourselves.

"We take confidence from that. When we start as we did, no one can handle us. We have to concentrate on our job and what we can do."

Lingard is one of a number of United academy graduates in the current senior squad, joining Rashford and McTominay as homegrown regulars in the starting 11.

Solskajer has overseen the integration of further youngsters during his first year in charge of the club, with Mason Greenwood and Brandon Williams beginning to earn regular minutes under the ex-Cardiff City coach.

Angel Gomes Manchester United 2019-20

And Lingard is of the belief that playmaker Angel Gomes will be the next young star to make the grade at the Theatre of Dreams, with the 19-year-old having already made four apperances this term.

"He is the next one to come through," Lingard added. "I have seen his ability since a young age. He is unbelievable.

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"Every day in training, he is always working hard and just waiting for his opportunity. He is very creative, skilful and he has got a bit of pace."

Jesse Lingard

Jesse Lingard surprised StreetGames players in the Coca-Cola Christmas truck in Manchester as part of the Coca-Cola #WhereEveryonePlays campaign.