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'That seems like a blur' Manchester United star Jesse Lingard reflects on loan spell at Birmingham City

Birmingham Mail logo Birmingham Mail 01/04/2018 Mat Kendrick

Jesse Lingard valued his time at Birmingham City as he took significant strides towards becoming a first team star at Manchester United.

Lingard famously scored four goals on his Blues debut during a cracking 4-1 victory over Sheffield Wednesday at St Andrew's in September 2013.

The talented attacker used his temporary stint under Lee Clark as a springboard for a blossoming career which has taken him into Jose Mourinho's starting XI at Old Trafford and elevated him to England's senior squad.

Lingard, now 25, appeared on the BBC's Football Focus show today and reflected upon his loan spells away from United.

During the piece with reporter Mark Clemmit he looked back on an interview he gave during his time at Blues and burst out laughing.

a blurry photo of a man: Credits: BBC screengrab © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: BBC screengrab

BBC screengrab

"That seems like a blur," he giggled, before laughing at his voice and explaining he has grown a little goatee since those fresh-faced days.

Lingard remembers how important his spell at Blues and other loan spells at Leicester, Brighton and Derby were in his development.

"I've changed, I've matured, I've learned from my different teams I played for," he said.

"I can only bring it back to United and put it all to good use here. Every club was good to me."

Lingard did well in the first half of the 2013-14 campaign for Blues but his sending off on Boxing Day 2013 was his last ever appearance for the club.

He scored six times, including the four against Sheffield Wednesday, in 13 games.

The latest on Jota

a person in a blue uniform holding a football ball © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc

Garry Monk says he knows that Jota is ‘disappointed’ with his debut season at Birmingham City, but has been encouraged by the Spaniard’s application during his time at the club.

Jota netted twice in what was arguably his best performance for Blues as they rolled Hull aside at St Andrew’s before the international break.

That said, it’s not been the most settled of beginnings for the talented attacker since he arrived from Brentford in the summer.

“He’s an important player. Everyone knows what he’s capable of. I know he himself has been disappointed with this season and himself,” Monk said.

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“And obviously the situation the team has been in has been difficult for everyone.

“My thought process coming in and knowing what they’re capable of is giving them that mentality and that freedom of expression to go and show what they can do but also within the structure of what we need them to do.

“At this moment in time the likes of Jota and the attacking players have embraced that and taken that on board. But I still think there’s a lot more to come from them and things they can better at.

“From where we’ve started to where we are in that short space of time they’ve shown improvements so we need to keep them on track with that.”

Monk loves Brum

Garry Monk wearing a suit and tie © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc

Garry Monk has a better grasp of Birmingham City Football Club by being based in the centre of the city itself - and having bumped into plenty of Bluenoses when out and about, he says it drives him to succeed at the club.

Monk replaced Steve Cotterill as boss at St Andrew’s almost a month ago and is enjoying living in the Second City, while on the pitch the performances have seen a marked improvement.

Though not immediately, the first result of those performances bore fruit when Blues took Hull apart before the international break.

All concerned naturally hope it’s the first of many; Monk has signed a three-and-a-half year contract and looks to be in it for the long haul.

Bluenoses have a fanatical passion for the club, and Monk realises that when he meets the club’s fans away from football.

It only spurs him on, he says, to help elevate the club from the situation they currently find themselves in and towards the top of the table.

“Yes, it’s been great. I’ve not had a lot of time to get out and about,” Monk told Birmingham Live.

“But every time I get to go for a coffee or something to eat or even just walking to and from my car. I’m in the city centre which makes it even better at the moment.

“I love it because when you do that you see their passion for the club and it gives you that extra bit of responsibility, that these are the guys that you are representing and these are the guys that you can let down as well as help all of them and get the club to where it should be.

“We’ve all seen what the club can be and seen it in good times.

“Everyone wants to get back to that but right now we’re facing a situation that we need to overcome and it’s going to take all of us and everyone in the city of Birmingham to overcome that.”

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