Jesse Lingard opens up on heartbreaking battle behind his struggles at Man Utd

Jesse Lingard has revealed his form at Manchester United was affected due to concern for his mother, who has sadly been battling with depression.

The midfielder is currently thriving on loan for West Ham having previously endured a difficult spell at Old Trafford where his performances were called into question.

During that spell Lingard was going through a tough period in his personal life, where he was forced to look after his younger siblings due to his mother's illness, and conceded he had bottled up his emotions.

"It feels like you're not the same person, I feel like I wasn't Jesse Lingard," he said, speaking on the first episode of Presenting. "Even in football matches, I felt like the game was just passing me by, like I just didn't want to be there – it was crazy."

Lingard, 28, explained how his mother had struggled with depression since he was as young as 12, and would lay in bed with the curtains closed during the day while he went out to play football, admitting "as a kid, you don't know what that means."

Having played an integral part in England's World Cup squad in 2018, Lingard soon found the pressures associated with playing at the top level difficult to deal with while his mother was suffering away from the spotlight, and it soon began impacting his own mental health.

"I was going into games happy sitting on the bench and that's not me. My mind wasn't there, I wasn't focused at all. I was thinking about other things and obviously bottling it all up trying to play football, you're tense, you're stressed and you can't do it."

"There's some days where I used to have a game at 8 o'clock and we'd go to the hotel in the afternoon, I'd sleep from 2-4, shut my curtains in the dark and then wake up in the dark and you don't get any sunlight."

Lingard credits the staff at Man Utd for helping him get through his problems, with a doctor always available to him.

Asked why he decided to share the details of his struggle, he replied: "I feel like in life you go through difficulties, you go through stages of lows and highs, but I feel like you've gotta get through the lows, grind it out and you see the light at the end of the tunnel."

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