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What Hamilton learned from the first team

Ethan Hamilton is on cloud nine after his first senior call-up for Manchester United, but the midfielder is now fully focused on the Under-23s' Premier League International Cup tie with Villarreal.

Having won the qualifying group in some style, Hamilton and his team-mates have another chance to put Premier League 2 life to one side by concentrating on the knock-out clash with the Spanish visitors at Leigh Sports Village tonight (Tuesday 27 February, 19:00 GMT, live on MUTV).

Hamilton was on the bench for United's Emirates FA Cup win at Huddersfield Town, replacing Paul Pogba when the Frenchman was ruled out through illness, and he admits the news came out of the blue.

“It was amazing,”
Ethan told MUTV, during an interview at the Aon Training Complex this week.
“I got called up on the morning of the game. I was reporting to training anyway because we played Chelsea on the Friday night, so to then get the call was amazing and I was delighted.

It came about that quickly. I imagine if it had been the night before, I wouldn't have been able to sleep but it came so quickly it was quite amazing the way it all happened. Having my name on the back of the shirt when I went into the changing room, I was a bit stunned - especially with it being next to all the amazing players. But you've got to believe you can get there and push on from there.
Ethan Hamilton says

"Having my name on the back of the shirt when I went into the changing room, I was a bit stunned - especially with it being next to all the amazing players."

“It was good to have Angel [Gomes] there as well but all the first-team lads made me feel welcome, which was good. There were certain things to pick up on, like the way they prepare mentally before the game and around the changing room with the focus on the game. It was good to see all the experience the players have gathered throughout the years and just watch and analyse what they're doing.

"Scott [McTominay] has been flying and doing really well. I speak to him and I'm really pleased for him, that he's doing so well in the first team. It gives us all a pathway to get into the side and it's great for the club. He speaks to us and is good to us, is Scotty, especially when I went into the first-team squad the other day. He helped me a lot, knowing what happened, and he gives us a good insight as well into what the first team is like.

Hamilton celebrates his winner against Athletic Club in the group stages

It's all about Ricky Sbragia's Reserves side now for Hamilton, though, as the Scottish midfielder will be out to repeat his winner in the group stages against Athletic Club. The Leigh Sports Village clash with Villarreal is the reward for topping the pool and represents a good opportunity to pick up a morale-boosting victory.

“We were quite disappointed with the way we played against Chelsea,” he continued. “We've been flying in this competition and it gives us a break from the normal league routine and playing teams with different nationalities. It might be a quite similar type of football to how Athletic Club played so we need to adapt to that. We're looking to try to get the result and then push on further in the competition.”

Hamilton hard at work in training with Ricky Sbragia's group
United's Premier League International Cup clash with Villarreal at Leigh Sports Village is live on MUTV from 18:30 GMT on Tuesday, with kick-off at 19:00 GMT.