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Lingard aims to repay fans' love with performances on the pitch

Over 51,000 fans took in FC Seoul's home opener last weekend with Jesse Lingard stepping out onto the Sangam pitch for the first time. Hundreds welcomed him at Incheon Airport and his replica shirts are flying off the shelf. This level of support is something that hasn't gone unnoticed.

Jesse Lingard lauded the support that he and FC Seoul were given on Sunday when he made his home debut. A K League record paid attendance of 51,670 watched the former Manchester United, West Ham, and Nottingham Forest star step out onto the Sangam pitch for the first time. If it wasn't already clear to him that many of those fans were there to see him, Lingard had it spelled out to him in the post-Gyeongin Derby press conference.

"The support was amazing today if we can keep that up throughout the season, of course, that'd be amazing. The more fans, the better, the more energy it gives us on the pitch to perform. So, I would say the more the better but it's down to us then to perform and get a win for the fans as well."  

In the build-up to last Sunday's match, FC Seoul, recognising that demand would be very high, set up a special makeshift Lingard shop where fans who wanted to buy the name and number printing sets with 10 LINGARD [린가드] could do so. 

Some fans had, according to The Athletic, queued up for four hours to get their hands on one. Lining up patiently in what was a fairly chilly Seoul afternoon, seemed to sum up the Lingard mania that has hit South Korea since the moment he arrived in the country.

Lingard only found out about the 'Lingard Zone' on the day of the game but is well aware of the love that has been sent his way so far.

"I was aware only just before the game, to be honest. I got told about it. I didn't know people were queuing up for four hours. But since I've been here, since I landed, the first day, the support and the fans at the airport, have all made me feel welcome.

"From the people that at training to the people at the hotel where I stay, the love and support has been amazing. It only gives you confidence when you step on the pitch in front of all them fans, you want to do well for them not just yourself, but you got to give them confidence and give them energy, as well as [how] they give me."

"I'd love to meet every fan and sign every fan's t-shirt. The love has been top, and like I say, I can only give back on the pitch and do well on the pitch."

More from Jesse Lingard

Jesse Lingard rues missed chance during home debut but pass was "perfect"
Lingard says he has settled in "really quickly" at FC Seoul

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Listen to the full post-match press conference on the K League United Podcast here

Matchday Sketch: Jesse Lingard's Home Debut

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