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Manchester United's Jesse Lingard: I'm more comfortable playing for England

Jesse Lingard has told GQ magazine he feels "more comfortable" playing for England than for Manchester United.

Lingard, 25, is part of Gareth Southgate's World Cup squad after his best season at Old Trafford saw him score 13 goals in 48 games.

He has won 10 England caps and scored his first goal against Netherlands in March, and said ahead of his first World Cup that he feels relaxed playing for his country.

"I actually feel more comfortable when I play for England than United. Every game, you've got to play with no fear," Lingard said.

England face Belgium, Panama and Tunisia in the group stage, and Lingard is confident that Southgate's players, including United teammates Phil Jones, Ashley Young and Marcus Rashford, can impress.

"It's one of the pinnacles of your career as a player and it will be my first World Cup so I've got to enjoy every minute, whether I start of if I've got to make an impact from the bench," he said.

"And I do think we will do well because of the team spirit we've got."

While Rashford made his United and England debuts as a teenager, Lingard has had to be more patient.

He was 21 when he made his first-team debut for United before his first England appearance came two years later.

"I think United always had a plan for me," Lingard said. "They nurtured me. Sir Alex [Ferguson] said that when I was 23, 24, that's when I would make it and he was right. I believed in him and trusted him."

Rob is ESPN FC's Manchester United correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @RobDawsonESPN.


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