Matchday Q&A: Scott McTominay on Newcastle
Scott McTominay enjoyed a memorable September after picking up our Player and Goal of the Month awards, but the in-form Manchester United midfielder insists his focus is always on the team rather than individual prizes.
The Scotland international has impressed throughout the last four weeks and he notched his first Old Trafford goal in the 1-1 draw with Arsenal last Monday after firing a beauty into the top corner.
We caught up with McTominay at the Aon Training Complex to ask him about his awards double and today's tough test on Tyneside...
Firstly Scott, congratulations on your Player of the Month and Goal of the Month awards – how does it feel to win them both?
“Obviously it’s a nice feeling to be rewarded by the fans, who have been showing us some incredible support in home and away games this year. And it's a proud feeling to get the Goal of the Month award as well; it was special because it was my first goal at Old Trafford. You just want more and more of those moments and I feel like we’re getting on the right track now with the team in terms of how we’re playing. In terms of our attacking threat we know we need to do more but defensively we’re doing well and we’ve got to keep that solidity through the season.”
You’d scored a couple of goals in a game for the Reserves at Old Trafford but how satisfying was it to get your first senior goal there against Arsenal?
“You can say it was a relief but it was also pure happiness and emotion and the way the crowd reacted was amazing. As I said you just want more and more of those feelings and I’ve had a few tastes of it for the Reserves and for me now it’s about trying to get as many goals as I can and contributing to the team going forward with assists as well. They’re some of the aims I’ve got for the season and hopefully I can keep progressing the way I’ve been doing.”
It was some strike… can we expect to see more like that?!
“Do you know what,I score a few like that in training, I’m always shooting… so it’s about time one went in! [Laughs]”
What’s pleased you most about your form?
“I think it’s just about sticking to the way you’ve been brought up through the Academy and sticking to the way that you’ve always done things. You always want to do things properly and do the right things and contribute to the team in a positive way and I feel like that has just been highlighted in the last month in the way people have seen me play personally. Hopefully it’s been good and hopefully I can keep maintaining that, but it’s the team that we’re all concentrating on at the moment and the results are more important than any individual performances that any player puts in wearing the red shirt. It’s about us going out and getting results in the Premier League and going on a run of games. Hopefully we can get some really good results in the next 10 games, that’s the important thing for the team.”
It’s Newcastle up next… how important is it to go into the international break with a win? We’ve been close to getting one but some decisions just haven't gone our way…
“Other than the West Ham game, it’s been [a case of] very, very fine margins. In a lot of the games we’ve played, I think we’ve been 1-0 up at half-time and for us it’s time to really nail down why we’re conceding after half-time and structurally we have to do more as a group and communicate more on the pitch and things like that. We have to reflect on all our performances and going into the international break it’s important we pick up a big three points away from home.”
What have you made of Newcastle this season? They’ve had a difficult start under Steve Bruce but games up there with the atmosphere are always tests aren’t they…
“Yeah it’s difficult going up there, the fans are passionate and create an incredible atmosphere. I’m not too sure what’s going on there at the moment but that’s football – sometimes things can go well, sometimes they don’t, but I know that their fans will always be with them and there will be a good atmosphere on Sunday and it’s important for us to really set our marker down.”
You talked about going on a run of wins – the lead-up to Christmas with lots of games coming thick and fast is always an important time isn’t it?
“It is and you have to pick up points. Every team always needs that one game to really kick-start the season. Whatever some people might say, some of the things we’ve been doing in matches have been really good, it’s just fine margins which have cost us a lot of points. Hopefully we can get a result on Sunday and then get another after the break and then you gradually start to build up result after result and all of a sudden you can find yourself climbing that table really quickly.”
Finally, from your perspective, is it now just about building on the great start you’ve made to the season?
“Yeah, whenever I get on the pitch, I just want to do my best. I want to do everything right for the team and contribute with goals and assists and I think that comes from doing all the right things on the pitch. Hopefully the hard work you do off the pitch will contribute to what you do on it.”
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