Manchester United winger Jesse Lingard believes that the team cannot let the fans dictate their style of play. Backing Louis van Gaal’s leadership following United’s 3-0 win over Stoke City, the player said that the team had rediscovered itself after being allowed to play with more ‘freedom’ by the Dutch manager.

Two first half goals by Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial set the tone for United’s win over Stoke City at Old Trafford. This was only the second time when United had managed to score a first half goal at home this season.

It’s a weight off our shoulders

As reported by The Guardian, Lingard refused to blame Van Gaal for Manchester United’s slump this season. Although the winger did concede that it was a ‘weight off our shoulders’ to be allowed to play with more freedom on the pitch.

“Now we are playing with that freedom and we’ve got a lot of energy in the team and 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.”

Can’t let the fans influence how we play

Manchester United fans at Old Trafford have been vocal in their criticism of the playing style exhibited by the first team in recent months. However, Lingard believes that the team cannot let the fans dictate their style of play.

“It’s hard, but we have to concentrate on the game.

“We can’t let the fans influence how we play.”

Louis van Gaal’s philosophy has come under much scrutiny since he took over the reins at Manchester United. The Dutchman is believed to be a tough taskmaster who allows little ‘freedom’ to the players on the pitch.

As expressed by Lingard earlier, such restrictions imposed a heavy weight on the players which prevented them from playing attacking football. Van Gaal’s decision therefore, to allow the first team to play with more ‘freedom’ could go a long way in determining the fate of the club this season.

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