‘It was a tough period building up to the loan. I felt like I deserved to be playing for United but obviously I knew in myself I had to go on loan,’ said Lingard.
‘So there was a range of emotions, I was going through all sorts. So just to get it over the line and sign the papers was a good feeling.
‘I think you just have to believe in yourself and believe in your ability. It would have been quite easy for me to give up and fall off.
‘At the time it was hard. You train all week, building up to the game and then not getting picked is difficult for any player.
‘There was a time in lockdown when I just looked back at some old England games, and games that I played well in for United, just to get the fire in my belly again.
‘Since coming here I’ve had targets written down on a board and until I hit them, I won’t be fulfilled.’
Lingard’s visualisations appear to be paying dividends.
With an assist against San Marino, Lingard’s direct influence is showing no signs of slowing down – a lucrative prospect to any West Ham fan keen to see him continue to help fire the Hammers into Europe.