McTominay addresses striker talk

Thursday 12 October 2023 14:00

In the time since Scott McTominay’s extraordinary cameo on Saturday, you may have seen the viral footage of our midfielder scoring goals during his time in the Academy, wearing the no.9 shirt that is traditionally donned by a striker.

McTominay’s ability to play further forward has been a trending topic over recent months, largely in part due to his tremendous form in front of goal for Scotland, which has seen him score six times in five Euro 2024 qualifiers.

The conversation was ignited again over the weekend, after Scott’s dramatic late brace saw United defeat Brentford, and has become a talking point that is often fuelled by the fact that our no.39 did play as a forward during his time in our youth teams.

Life in Numbers: Scott McTominay Video

Life in Numbers: Scott McTominay

In a special feature, Scott McTominay talks us through his career so far via a series of significant numbers...

However, speaking to club media in a brand-new ‘Life in Numbers’ feature, the midfielder says there is a misconception about how often he actually led the line in our Academy.

Addressing his poaching instincts inside the penalty area, Scott began: “Just being alive in the box and being quick with it and not being on your heels or sleeping in the box [is key] – whenever there’s a chance for a goal to go in the back of the net you need to take it. I’ve always thought like that. 

“People always said: ‘You played as a striker as a kid.' I never played as a striker.

“I played two games there with [former Reserves coach] Warren Joyce because we had no striker. So, whenever I score a goal, people always say: ‘He used to be a striker, that’s why.’

“I never used to be a striker! I’ve always been a midfield player, a number eight, so it is funny when you hear stuff like that.”

While Scott does not see himself as a forward player, it is clear from his form for club and country that he is a midfielder with a sense for where the net is.

Speaking to MUTV after the final whistle on Saturday, the 26-year-old says he entered the game in the 87th minute – as United trailed 1-0 – with the intention of getting on the scoresheet.

“My plan was to [score]. We had to make something happen and I think that was probably the direct message: ‘Go on and show yourself.’
McTominay: It was an out-of-body experience Video

McTominay: It was an out-of-body experience

"It is so important that we all come together," says a passionate McTominay, after his late brace against Brentford...

“I’ve been speaking to Darren Fletcher and Mitchell [van der Gaag] and the coaches and that’s what they say: ‘Whenever you get the opportunity, go and show yourself.’

“That’s what I’ve been trying to do in training as well and show the manager that I’m capable of moments like that, and long may it continue in the future if we come together as a team and start performing how we know we can.”

McTominay could get himself among the goals again, when Scotland face Spain in a big Euro 2024 qualifier tonight (19:45 BST kick-off on Thursday).

A win will see Steve Clarke's side through to next summer’s finals.