Midfield call is a 'beautiful decision' for Ole
Scott McTominay believes anybody not fighting hard for a starting place in the Manchester United side will be left behind.
The homegrown star has worked like a dervish during the enforced break, regaining peak fitness and looking sharp, to give manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a tough decision when it comes to picking his XI for the match at Tottenham Hotspur tonight (Friday).
United have an embarrassment of riches in midfield with Nemanja Matic, Fred, Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes among the other options, while McTominay has made it clear he is long over the knee injury that kept him out of the early part of the year. His return before the suspension of all football action included scoring the memorable clincher in the Manchester derby at Old Trafford, and he is desperate to feature against Jose Mourinho's men in our first game since the restart.
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“I'm ready,” he told us ahead of the trip to the capital.
“No shadow of a doubt.
“I have not felt it myself in terms of my injury. To be fair, I've completely forgotten about it. [I didn't think about it] whenever we'd finished against City and LASK as well. It's firmly put behind me. I can't even remember what it felt like to be injured at that moment of time.
“Looking back, it was a long time [out] but now, for me, the competition is good. That is what we want. Everyone in the team will have to be fighting and, if you're not fighting, you'll get left behind.
“It's part and parcel of it,” he added.
“The manager's job is to pick a team he feels is best and I am sure he will do.
“There are a lot of different scenarios and players he can choose from. Obviously, this is a beautiful decision as a manager as he's got players fighting fit, every single day in training, every single one of the players, from the competition at full-back to midfield to the strikers. So it's important.
“The squad we've got is a big one and everybody does need to be ready.”
McTominay worked extremely hard during lockdown, famously recording outstanding times in the 5k runs and pushing himself to the limits.
“My mentality doesn't change,” he insisted.
“Whether in training or training by ourselves, you have to keep mentally and physically in a right place for yourself so you can hit the ground running when you come back.
“The runs were just a bit of fun throughout lockdown. Jesse [Lingard], Andreas [Pereira] and myself are all decent runners over long distances but, obviously the training changes a lot. Over time, with the 5k, you do that as a bit of fun and then the real training starts – the short, sharp stuff, the sprinting, changing direction and agility work. It's what everyone needs when you get back. It was a good bit of fun and then [it's] back to the serious stuff.”