(Reuters) - Jesse Lingard says England manager Gareth Southgate has given the squad the confidence to play without fear ahead of their World Cup opener against Tunisia on Monday.
“Southgate has come in with the mentality to play with freedom, play without fear, and you will enjoy your time more,” Lingard said.
“So, as a group of players, that is what we are going to do - enjoy our football, play with no fear and play exciting football at the same time.
“Of course, we want to go all the way to the final, but we are going to take each game as it comes and prepare for each game as we normally do.”
The 25-year old said it had been easy to adapt to Southgate’s methods as he had worked with him at youth level.
“He understands the way I play,” Lingard added. “To work with him at youth level as well, then coming into the first-team set-up, that’s always going to help.”
England, who are on a 10-game unbeaten run, will also take on Belgium and Panama in Group G.
Reporting By Arnab Paul in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford