Jesse Lingard on West Ham’s Champions League dream, ‘cup final’ mentality... and a worrying pattern

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Tom Doyle
·2-min read
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<p>Lingard scored twice in the win over Leicester</p> (Getty Images)

Lingard scored twice in the win over Leicester

(Getty Images)

Jesse Lingard says West Ham are treating every game like a “cup final” as they look to realise their Champions League... but has warned they almost “made a mess” of their dramatic win over Leicester City.

Lingard - who is wanted by Arsenal - continued his one-man crusade to get West Ham into the Champions League with two goals in a 3-2 win over Brendan Rodgers’ fellow top four hopefuls.

The England midfielder took his goal tally to eight in nine appearances since joining on loan from Manchester United in January to help lift the Hammers back into the top four.

David Moyes’ side held off a late Leicester fightback and are now just a point behind the third-placed Foxes, and still on course to gatecrash Europe’s elite next season.

Of West Ham’s Champions League aspirations, Lingard told Sky Sports: “It’s great. We’re in something to fight for and each week we’re playing something like a cup final and we’re doing our best to get the three points.

POOL/AFP via Getty Images
POOL/AFP via Getty Images

“Like today again, we ground out the win, we held out for the win and we held on to the three points.”

West Ham have collected seven points from their last three games against Arsenal (3-3), Wolves (3-2) and Leicester (3-2), but were three goals up in each of the games, throwing away two points against the Gunners and suffering nervy finishes in the other two results.

Lingard said of the pattern: “We almost made a mess of it at the end. It has been like that for three games. We are still learning. We take the positives and negatives from the game.

“It seems we always start off really good, quick and on the front foot and we put teams under pressure and, if we can start in the second half like that, then we can push on for four or five goals.”

Lingard is in stunning formGetty Images
Lingard is in stunning formGetty Images

Lingard is now the Premier League’s in-form goalscorer, and added of his recent performances: “I’m picking up good positions, picking up positions where the ball has fallen and it’s down to me to put the ball in the back of the net.

“(It is down to) confidence, instinct, knowing your players, knowing where the right-back and left-back are going to put it and being in the right position.”

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