Belfast Telegraph

Lingard trying to ‘create something new’ at World Cup

The attacking midfielder is excited by the raw talent of England’s squad.

Jesse Lingard loves trying to “create something new” with England at the World Cup.

The Three Lions enjoyed a winning start to a major tournament for the first time since 2006 thanks to Harry Kane’s late header against Tunisia.

Monday’s 2-1 win was no less than England deserved from their Group G opener, which should have been over within 30 minutes given the ferocity of the start made by Gareth Southgate’s side.

That verve and energy enthused supporters, helping to give Three Lions fans hope after recent frustrating major tournament outings.

“What’s in the past is the past,” attacking midfielder Lingard said.

“We are just trying to create something new at the moment.

“We’ve got a raw squad, an exciting squad so we are going to see how far we can go with this team that we’ve got.

“When you put the shirt on you’ve got a job to do and that’s to win the game. That’s the main thing.

“When you can do that as a team and you have that togetherness you can pull it off.”

There is also clearly confidence coursing through the side, epitomised by captain and match-winner Kane.

The Tottenham striker opened the scoring and wrapped up victory against Tunisia, taking his tally to 15 goals in 25 appearances for his country.

“It’s always great to have players like that in the squad to come up when you need them,” Lingard said.

“It also helps if the players around him can help as well.

“He’s great. He has come on leaps and bounds from when I knew him when he was young. He is really performing at the highest level now. It’s a step up.”

Asked if Kane still surprised him, he added: “Not any more. He has done it throughout his career. He has scored important goals at important times so it is great to have him in the team.”

But, as Lingard alluded, Kane will need some goalscoring support this summer, especially after faltering in front of goal against Tunisia.

“It was just one of those things,” the 25-year-old said. “Not getting the bounce, wondering whether the ball was going to drop.

“But we kept going throughout the game and we knew we would create chances. So, we just kept plugging away.”

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