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'Fantastic' Lingard praised

Birmingham assistant manager Terry McDermott was full of praise for Jesse Lingard after the 20-year-old scored four goals to destroy struggling Sheffield Wednesday 4-1 on his debut for the Midlands club.

Last Updated: 22/09/13 at 07:43 Post Comment

Birmingham manager Lee Clark lost his voice during match

Birmingham manager Lee Clark lost his voice during match

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It was the first time Lingard, who has been recruited on loan from Manchester United for a month, had even started a league game.

On this display Lingard, who had previously never scored in the League, might well be persuaded to remain for a longer spell at St Andrew's after scoring his first three in in a 13-minute first-half spell.

Manager Lee Clark, who lost his voice watching Blues' victory, did not attend the post-match conference to sing the praises of his slightly-built young striker.

Instead it was left to McDermott who was rich in his compliments of Lingard who was substituted late in the game because he was exhausted.

McDermott said: "I was a little disappointed because I thought he could have got five!

"It was fantastic for the kid but mainly for the whole team after the poor performance at Burnley last Tuesday.

"It is probably the best we have played this season and probably last season.

"We just have to continue playing to this standard and we will win a lot more games.

"For a kid so young he did exceptionally well. It wasn't as if he was playing in the Conference.

"He had only trained with us on two occasions.

"What I like about him is that he is laid-back, nothing fazes him. Before the game he just sat there for an hour hardly speaking.

"He went on to the pitch as if he was just playing another game with his mates at school. He then goes out and puts on a great display. Long may it continue."

After what had been a quiet start between two lowly clubs the game exploded with Lingard, who hails from Warrington, displaying his outstanding skill in front of goal.

The feature of Lingard's performance was his eye for a goal and his ability to spot an opening.

Very little had been seen of Lingard until the 20th minute when Chris Kirkland made a fine save to keep out a Chris Burke effort.

Unfortunately for Kirkland he could only parry the ball to Lingard rushing in at the far post.

The goal transformed Birmingham and none more so than young Lingard, who displayed the enthusiasm of youth with clinical finishing.

This was demonstrated when he collected a throughball from Wade Elliott and slid the ball under the body of the advancing Kirkland.

Birmingham's fans could hardly believe what they were watching as Lingard put the icing on the cake with his hat-trick in 13 minutes as he collected a pass from skipper Paul Robinson and scored with a raking shot as he cut in from the left.

Lingard could now do nothing wrong and six minutes into the second half he was in position to collect a pass pulled back by Burke to score with another rasping shot.

Wednesday managed to pull back a goal after 66 minutes when Kamil Zayatte headed home a Steve McPhail free-kick.

A visibly-exhausted Lingard was then substituted in the 71st minute and was hugged by an appreciative Clark.

Sheffield Wednesday are still without a win this term and the ease in which they concede goals indicates a troubled season in store for the Owls.

A dejected Wednesday manager Dave Jones faces a harrowing time on the basis of this performance.

He said: "This is probably the worst performance I've seen from a Sheffield Wednesday side.

"The goals we gave away were hard to swallow.

"I can only apologise to the fans for the performance we put in. They should go to the fans themselves and apologise.

"We began brightly but we then switched off. In a matter of a few minutes the game was all over.

"There too many wrong decision and too many people not on their game."

Commenting on Lingard the Owls boss said: "We allowed him to impress.

"He had a dream debut. You have to stop him playing.

"You cannot allow him to get on the ball, turn and run at us. For some reason they allowed him too much scope.

"We were capable of getting back into the game but the smallest man of the pitch pushes people off the ball and gets his fourth goal."

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