Jesse Lingard has revealed Manchester United's players have been given more freedom by manager Louis van Gaal. The 23-year-old winger - who has been one of the few bright points of United's season thus far - has claimed the Dutch manager has given his much-maligned squad license to express themselves.
The Reds achieved back-to-back wins for only the second time in three months against Stoke City on 2 February, with Lingard scoring a headed effort in their 3-0 win. Lingard claimed the players now feel confident they can entertain the fans at Old Trafford once more.
"Now we are playing with that freedom and we've got a lot of energy in the team," the United star explained, according to Sky Sports. "To be mixing up the positions and entertain the crowd, we'll have to do that, but it's that freedom that we have, it's a weight off our shoulders and we can just play football now."
Lingard also insisted United's recent run of poor form is the fault of the players, rather than their manager. "With the results, it's not the manager's fault," he said. "We are the ones who have been on the pitch playing. On Tuesday, you've seen that we can the get results we need if we put our mind to it."
Lingard also insisted that the United players must not allow the frustrations of the fans to affect their performances on the pitch. "We can't let the fans influence how we play. We are on the pitch. We have to play the game as we see it at the time," he said.
"We showed great character to do that in the last game and were unfortunate not to get the result against Southampton, but we bounced back against Derby and against Stoke."