McTominay: Young Reds will go that extra mile
Scott McTominay is excited to see United's youngsters challenge for a place in the first team, after a number impressed in our opening three fixtures of Tour 2019.
Tahith Chong, James Garner, Angel Gomes and Mason Greenwood have all been given game time, while Axel Tuanzebe has looked capable in defence after returning to the club following a successful season on loan at Aston Villa. These players have also been joined by exciting prospects Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James.
Speaking to the media ahead of Thursday's match against Tottenham Hotspur, McTominay believes that the youngsters have a chance to replicate the success shown by the Class of 92, and expects them to push to ensure their names are on the team sheet for our first Premier League match against Chelsea on 11 August.
“The Class of 92 were absolutely exceptional and it's going to be very, very difficult to replicate something like that,” he said.
“We've got a good group of young boys who are ready to learn and ready to go the extra mile and do everything to get into the team and push some senior pros to get their places.”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has spoken about the need to see more homegrown players ready to make the jump into United's senior ranks, and the club have taken action to try and improve the situation, announcing on Monday that Nicky Butt had been promoted to Head of First Team Development, while Nick Cox takes up the mantle of Head of Academy.
And after showcasing their talents in our first three Tour matches against Perth Glory, Leeds United and Inter Milan, Scott believes he and the rest of the up-and-coming players are eager to retain a place in the match-day squad once the season begins.
“That is going to be my aim, Axel's aim, Mason's as well,” he explained,
“so it's important all the boys come together and have that real solid team spirit that young players always have going through the age groups. From the Under-9s to the Under-23s, that's the most important thing for us.”
China is the third stop on the Reds' pre-season, with matches in Oslo and Cardiff still to come over the next fortnight. While it gives an opportunity for our fans across the world to get close to their heroes, McTominay maintained that this is no holiday for a squad who are desperate to improve on their previous campaign.
“Obviously, it's nice, but we're here to work,” Scott reiterated.
“We're here to focus on next season. We were so, so disappointed with last season, so now it's time to get things right and we've got a tremendous base with that in the coaches and the manager, so it's important we take all the messages on board.”
As with all our pre-season games, United v Tottenham in Shanghai on Thursday (12:30 BST) will be shown live on MUTV.