Soccer

Lingard: No friends in the Manchester derby

Cape Town – Jesse Lingard insists his friendship with England team-mate Raheem Sterling will be put to one side for today’s Manchester derby.

There is plenty riding on Manchester City’s trip to Old Trafford, as hosts Manchester United attempt to narrow the eight-point gap on the Premier League leaders and inflict a first top flight defeat of the season on Pep Guardiola’s men.

With so much at stake, United winger Lingard says there is no room for sentiment with the international colleagues in the opposition ranks.

“You know quite a lot of them growing up and through the England set-up as well,' Lingard told United Review.

“I'm good friends with Raheem off the pitch. But when you're on the pitch, there are no friends and we're there to do a job and win the game.”

Lingard goes into the derby in good form after three goals and an assist in his last two games.

The 24-year-old added: “I am confident. It's two great teams going out there and you don't know what the game is going to be like.

“It might be a battle; it might not be pretty. But if we come out on top, it's always good for the city of Manchester. We need to make sure that Manchester is red at the end of the day.

“Like us, they have lots of big players. When [Kevin] De Bruyne's on the ball, he's always got that eye for a killer pass that can put a player one on one with the keeper, and Raheem Sterling's been popping up with the late goals.

“It's going to be full-on for 90-plus minutes. We need to be on point until that whistle goes, so everyone needs to stay highly-concentrated throughout.

“As long as we start the game well, like we did at Arsenal, I don't see any reason why we can't win.”

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