Jesse Lingard opens up on the family issues behind his difficult few months at Man Utd

Manchester City v Manchester United - Premier League

Jesse Lingard is often the butt of the jokes whenever Manchester United are struggling.

Many rivals fans simply don’t consider the midfielder to be good enough for the Old Trafford club.

There’s a long-running joke amongst rival fans that Lingard is still a youngster due to the fact the 26-year-old has failed to fulfil his potential.

In fact, he’s played almost 200 times for the club and represented his country 24 times.

But he’s still got some convincing to do.

He certainly didn’t begin this season very convincingly.

He started United’s first two matches but then quickly found himself out of the side.

Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League

Since then, he had only started one match in the league before making the starting line-ups for United’s previous two victories against Tottenham and Manchester City.

But now, Lingard has revealed exactly what was happening in his personal life as he struggled to perform on the pitch.

“I wasn't performing and he [Solskjaer] was on me all the time. He wanted more from me,' Lingard told the Daily Mail. “So I felt it was best to get everything off my chest and tell him why my head wasn't right. So I knocked on his door.”

Lingard’s mother Kirsty became unwell, leaving Lingard having to care for his younger brother Jasper, 14, and 11-year-old sister Daisy-Boo.

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Jasper has struggled to deal with his mother’s illness and is currently living with Lingard and being schooled from home.

Lingard himself is adjusting to life as father with a one-year-old baby daughter and has also been attending school parents' evenings for his siblings.

"My mum has had some things for years but never really got help. Now she is. So I have been taking care of my brother and sister. They are with me. It has been tough to see my loved ones struggling and then I have to come to work and try to do my job," he added.

Lingard didn't tell anyone at the club for weeks and nobody knew about his struggles until he revealed all to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Manchester City v Manchester United - Premier League

"I am a person who likes to deal with stuff on his own but it's not necessarily the right thing to do," he admitted.

"I always use the phrase 'Be yourself' but I have realised now that there are times when you just can't be. My dad and older brother, Louie, have been great support but some of this stuff has broken my heart, you know?

"As a man I have to take this responsibility on and be there for everyone. I've had to mature and wise up. Sometimes when your worries are so deep you can't function properly. Now it's about getting back to my best and I feel I can do that."

Incredible honesty from Lingard and we respect him massively for revealing all.

It sometimes easy to forget that footballers are actually human beings because of the ridiculous amount of money they earn and the fact they have the dream job.

But no amount of money can comfort you in times of struggle, especially when people close to you are suffering.

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