Manchester United's FA Cup winner Jesse Lingard has revealed that Louis van Gaal had confirmed the squad for the final against Crystal Palace "two days" ahead of the game to prepare the players mentally. The Red Devils went on to win the clash 2-1 in extra time on 21 May.
Jason Puncheon came off the bench to give Alan Pardew's side the lead in the final quarter of the match. However, Palace's lead was cut short as Juan Mata equalised three minutes later in the 81st minute.
United were reduced to 10-men after Chris Smalling was given marching orders following his second booking before the end of the first half of extra time. The former Chelsea star was replaced by Lingard and the England international went on to score the winner in the second half of extra time.
"We found out two days before [what the team was] to get our minds right and prepare. As a substitute you've always got to be ready and thankfully I was," Lingard told United's official website.
On scoring the winner, Lingard said: "I saw it come across, it landed nicely for me, all I had to do was hit it sweet and luckily I did that."
"It's a massive feeling, to win it is a great feeling and ending the season on a high. My family and friends are here watching so it's fantastic. It's the United way – we have such good team spirit."
Meanwhile, United midfielder Michael Carrick, who got his first FA Cup medal expressed his delight after the win. "That feeling when the final whistle goes you can't buy the feeling of lifting the trophy. It's a lot of emotion, relief and satisfaction but pure joy to finally lift it," Carrick explained.
"When we went behind I always thought we'd get a chance. To finally win the FA Cup it's great for the players and the backroom staff who work so hard to prepare us right and obviously for the supporters to give them something to shout about. It's a smashing day."
The Red Devils' latest victory has seen the Old Trafford club equal Arsenal's record of winning the FA Cup on 12 occasions.