Jesse Lingard: Everyone’s disappointed but we need to pick ourselves up
It says absolutely everything about Jesse Lingard’s commitment to the West Ham United cause that he was crestfallen by Sunday’s 1-0 Premier League defeat by Everton.
The 28-year-old may only be on loan from Manchester United, but he is desperate to help the Hammers qualify for Europe for next season.
Lingard has played a key role in putting the Irons in position to finish in the top six, scoring nine goals and assisting three more in just 13 appearances since arriving at the end of January, but on Sunday he and his teammates found it impossible to breach a determined Everton defence.
The England international tried everything, but neither he nor any of his fellow Hammers could create and take the chances required, meaning Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s first-half strike remained the only goal of a disappointing game.
We need to have the right attitude going into those games so we can start quickly and start on the front foot and win those matches
“It was frustrating as we dominated the game and it was a sloppy goal to concede,” he reflected. “We had them on the back foot in the second half, but we didn’t really create any chances.
“The dressing room was down after the game. Everyone’s disappointed but we need to pick ourselves up because we’ve got another big game next weekend.”
West Ham’s best chance fell to Said Benrahma before half-time, but he headed Pablo Fornals’ inviting cross over the bar from six yards, leaving West Ham trailing and the Algerian still seeking his first goal in a West Ham shirt.
“I don’t think he’s putting pressure on himself,” the No11 observed. “He’s arriving in the right areas to score and it’s just about executing, that’s.
“For us as a team we’re together and trying to help each other to score and get into the right positions.”
In the second half, West Ham controlled the game, enjoying nearly 75% possession, but again failed to muster a shot on target. Instead, the closest they came was when Vladimir Coufal’s shot cannoned back off the inside of the post and Jarrod Bowen could not convert the rebound.
The Czech’s effort was the Premier League-leading 21st time the Irons had hit the woodwork this season, and the game also saw the home side lose Manuel Lanzini and Aaron Cresswell to painful-looking groin injuries.
“Football is like that,” Lingard lamented. “It’s about how we deal with it during the game and how we adapt. I felt we adapted fairly well and dominated the game, but we just couldn’t create clear-cut chances and finish them.”
West Ham have three games to play, away at Brighton & Hove Albion and West Bromwich Albion and at home to Southampton, and the attacker insisted the Londoners have what it takes to win all three and qualify for Europe.
“It’s just about focusing, concentrating and not being sloppy,” he explained. “We need to have the right attitude going into those games so we can start quickly and start on the front foot and win those matches.”