McTominay: The armband was a huge honour
Scott McTominay says it was “a surreal moment” when he was told he would captain Manchester United in Saturday's third-round FA Cup tie with Watford.
But the added responsibility certainty didn’t overwhelm the midfielder: his early headed goal proved to be decisive in our 1-0 win and secured United's place in the last 32.
He was given the armband as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer chose to rotate his squad and start Harry Maguire on bench, although Maguire was introduced just before half-time for the injured Eric Bailly.
For Academy graduate McTominay – who passed 100 appearances for the club earlier this season – it was his journey through the ranks that made leading the team out so special.
Speaking to BT Sport at full-time, Scott said: “For me, when the manager told me [that I would be captain] it was a surreal moment, obviously being at this club since I was, what? I'd just turned five years old – [so] basically 18 years, 19 years [being] associated with the football club. So for me that’s a huge honour.
“I absolutely love this football club and it’s been my life for almost my whole life. So yeah, it’s a real honour.”
Recognising the trust Ole showed in him by making him skipper, he added: “The manager’s been nothing but amazing for me since he’s come to the club and I have a lot to thank him for, but the best way of thanking him is putting in performances on the pitch for this club and doing your best that you possibly can do.
“For just as long as I’ve got the manager’s trust I’m happy doing my job every single day in training and matches as well.”
On his goal, which came after just five minutes, Scott admitted he wants to use his aerial advantage more often when in the penalty area.
“We work a lot on set-pieces, both for and against, so to see one of them go in – it’s something we’ve worked on.
“We’ve got a lot of different variations, [and] obviously I need to start scoring more headers – I’m six foot.”
Cup and runningGallery
Check out some of the best FA Cup photos from Old Trafford, where a much-changed United team saw off Watford.
McTominay was, along with keeper Dean Henderson, one of just two players to keep their place from our Carabao Cup semi-final in midweek, as the boss rested players to help manage a hectic January schedule.
After a bright start, United were unable to add to their tally, but the Scotland international was pleased with how those coming into the team managed the challenge and played their part in controlling the game. “It’s a squad game, as you’ve seen tonight,” he said.
“Tuesday [against Burnley], I’m sure there’ll be changes again, Liverpool there’ll be changes again, so everybody’s so ready for their chance and I feel like you’ve seen that with Jesse and with Donny and with guys like that tonight – Dan James in the first half.
“Jesse was so, so good, he was causing real problems, and it’s great because he’s had a tough time, Jesse, and I’m so pleased for him today.”
He added: “They haven’t played for a long time. The manager said: ‘Get your rhythm.’ First 30 minutes I bet he wasn’t expecting the rhythm that we got and then obviously tired legs, tired minds, [with] not playing for some time. So it’s a credit to the boys.”