Jesse Lingard admits he feels 'misunderstood at times'

Jesse Lingard admits he feels ‘misunderstood at times’ and insists ‘I love training, I love football’ – despite accusations the Forest star is distracted by off-field interests, including his ‘JLINGZ’ clothing brand and esports team

  • Jesse Lingard completed his shock move to Nottingham Forest in the summer
  • He has often been criticised for being distracted by his off-the-field antics 
  • Lingard has his own clothing brand and an esports team – both are called JLINGZ 
  • He hopes to return to the England squad and wants Southgate to stay in charge 

Jesse Lingard has admitted that he feels ‘misunderstood at times’ and insists that he ‘loves training and football’ – despite accusations that he is distracted by his off-field interests.

The former Manchester United star – whose comments come on his 30th birthday – has his own clothing brand and he more recently acquired an esports team – both of which are called JLINGZ.

Lingard left his boyhood club Manchester United in the summer having failed to get minutes following his revival on loan at West Ham. It eventually led him to joining Steve Cooper’s Forest side in hope of more game time.

Nottingham Forest midfielder Jesse Lingard has admitted that he feels ‘misunderstood at times’

The former Man United star has often been accused of being distracted by his off-field interests. Pictured: Lingard wearing his JLINGZ brand

Now, Lingard has hopes of igniting his form once more and has not ruled out a desire to return to the England squad – who he hopes will still be managed by Gareth Southgate, despite the Three Lions boss not selecting him at England’s last two major tournaments. 

The attacking midfielder was included on Southgate’s long-list England squad for Qatar despite his lacklustre start to life at Forest – but he failed to make the final 26.

Despite a tumultuous period, Lingard is eager to add to his 32 England caps ahead of the Euros in 2024 alongside his off-field endeavours.

‘Am I misunderstood? Yes, sometimes. But I love training. I love football. I love games. I always want to work hard. That is how you get the best out of me, when I work hard,’ Lingard told The Athletic. 

‘There might be a tackle that lifts the crowd or just a moment that makes the crowd sit up and think, “He is on it today”. You need that intensity. I love winning. I could stay on the training ground all day. But the hard work side of things should be pretty normal for any professional, shouldn’t it?

‘I can be misunderstood at times. But I will just carry on. I will do what I do and not listen to the noise.’ 

In summer, 2021, Lingard went on to acquire an esports team which he has also called JLINGZ

Lingard has not ruled out a desire to earn a recall to the England team and wants Southgate to stay in charge

Lingard – who joined the Manchester United academy aged seven – will return to Old Trafford as a Forest player for the first time on December 27 when the Premier League returns.

He was one of 21 summer additions at Forest following their promotion and although he has had a slow start, the midfielder bagged his first goal for the club in a Carabao Cup win against Tottenham. 

Lingard says he is ‘excited’ about going back to the Old Trafford but insists he is going there ‘wanting to win’ despite the obvious emotion of returning.

Recalling his exit from the club, Lingard added that he it was ‘hard sitting on the bench’ and he knew ‘it was my time to move on’.

Lingard believes he is in a ‘good space’ at the moment despite taking a little while to get settled.

He has of course been watching England’s heartbreaking exit out of the World Cup but wants Southgate to remain in charge as the Three Lions boss tosses and turns about his future.

Lingard praised Southgate’s man-management and recalled him taking time to get to know the players’ families.

He added: ‘He has experience and he has a knack of making you better. I would love to see him stay on.’

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