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Jesse Lingard has hit back at trolls as he opens up on the difficulties he has faced during a tough spell at Manchester United.

As he approached the end of his United contract, Lingard struggled to find his best form and was often criticised by fans and pundits for his performances.

However, he has now spoken candidly about the struggles he faced as he speaks about his battle with depression.

As per The Guardian, Lingard said: “I was on autopilot. I was having conversations with people and I was just like: ‘Yeah. OK. Yeah.’ Nothing would register. It would go in one ear and out the other. I was numb and I wanted to be in that numb state where I didn’t have to feel anything.”

Lingard spoke about the lowest point of that difficult period, coming after United’s match against Derby.

The midfielder said: “I just felt so much scrutiny, especially after the Derby game and I was getting abuse as I got on the bus,” Lingard says. “I can normally take it but sometimes it gets to a point where it’s like: ‘Ahh, I can’t even be arsed doing this anymore.’

“Nobody really knew about my struggles off the pitch so they think: ‘You’re a footballer, you live in a nice house, you’ve got money, you can deal with anything.’ But when it’s someone’s health and well-being – it’s a different situation. We’re all human.”

Image Credit: AlamyLingard then revealed that he turned to alcohol. He added: “Coming home, lying on the sofa and staring. When I look at that now, I don’t know what was in my mind but it must have been racing. Literally, I just wanted to sit at home and drink a little bit – try and take the pain away. I don’t do that, normally. I’m not really a big drinker. Of course, here and there on nights out, whatever. But sitting at home and drinking before bed … that’s when I knew I was in a bad situation.

“It wasn’t drinking to excess. It was just little bits through the week and stuff like that. I look back and think: ‘What was I doing?’ It was probably just to be in a mind frame where I’ve got no pain, no cares. Because I didn’t have anyone to bounce off or feed off, I resorted to that.”

Image Credit: AlamyLingard is now at Nottingham Forest as he looks to reignite his career and ultimately hopes to earn a return to the England set-up.