International Soccer

Jesse Lingard responds to brutal criticism from FC Seoul manager

Jesse Lingard has insisted reports of FC Seoul manager Kim Gi-dong’s criticism of him have been exaggerated.

The former Manchester United and Nottingham Forest midfielder made the move to South Korea in February but is still without a goal or an assist after three appearances for his new club, and his underwhelming start to life at the club brought some fierce criticism from Kim.

“I’ve been thinking a lot about removing Jesse [from the team],” Kim said. “If a player who only plays for a few minutes doesn’t go in and show off, fight and run as well as players who play for 90 minutes, I don’t think he is a football player.

“His name has no value on the pitch, and I will tell him that exactly.”

Unsurprisingly, the comments caused quite a stir when picked up by the English media, but both Kim and Lingard have since played down the severity of the message.

Jesse Lingard

Lingard has endured a tough start to life in Korea / MB Media/GettyImages

“I think it was a little exaggerated in the media,” Lingard said in response. “That’s part of football, too.

“I returned to training and had a thorough conversation with the manager, and now I’m focusing on the next game.”

Kim revealed: “As soon as he saw me, he didn’t say hello but instead gave me a hug. I said: ‘You are a special player and you need to take on the role of a leader, and in that regard, I did that interview’.”

Lingard is currently nursing a knee injury but will hope to turn the tide for Seoul as soon as possible.

“I think everything depends on me,” he concluded. “I’m preparing by pushing myself harder to show what the coach wants on the pitch.”

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