Scott McTominay makes his debut for United on his debut in 2017.

McTominay reveals advice from Academy coaches

Thursday 07 May 2020 07:00

Eighty-five minutes into Manchester United's Premier League match against Arsenal on 7 May 2017, a 21-year-old Scott McTominay made his first official appearance for the senior team.

The 2016/17 campaign was when our homegrown midfielder made his breakthrough into the first-team. After being a regular in the Reserves, McTominay was named among the substitutes for the first time in United's 1-1 draw with Swansea City at the end of April.

One week later, the towering youngster was called upon to make his debut, coming on for Juan Mata, against the Gunners. Despite the Reds being 2-0 down, the youngster certainly didn't shy away from the situation in the closing stages of the match, making eight passes, all of which were successful, and even having a shot on goal.

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Three years on from that cameo, Scott has gone from strength to strength and had been enjoying his best campaign to date. From his 20 Premier League appearances, he has contributed four goals, made the most amount of clearances for a United midfielder and ranks third for the amount of tackles out of anyone in the squad. These performances have earned him two Player of the Month awards.

Meanwhile, at international level, McTominay has played seven times, helping Scotland win their Nations League group and reach the play-offs for Euro 2020.

Despite all of this, Scotty has had to overcome several hurdles during his career in the youth ranks before his arrival into the first team. And even since his transformation from Academy player to first-team regular, there have been further challenges during his young career, which included considering a potential loan spell 18 months ago.

When Scott joined Helen Evans, Sam Homewood and former Red David May for an episode of UTD Podcast, he shed light on the mentality that was instilled in him and the rest of the players coming through from no-nonsense coaches Warren Joyce and Paul McGuinness, and how this helped him fight for everything he has achieved.

"We were always brought up to have an elite mentality," he said. "That’s one of the most important things for Paul McGuinness and Warren Joyce - how strong you are in games when it might not be going so well. You have to keep all the right habits off the pitch as well, which I’ve completely bought into from Paul and Warren.

"That was probably one of the best things I’ve done: listening and learning from everything they’ve said and trying to put it into the first team. Everyone’s got different journeys. Eventually, you get to a stage where you need to keep competing and doing your best all the time."

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From scoring the clincher in the Manchester derby, to playing against the likes of Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona in the Champions League last season, the 23-year-old has become a vocal figure on the pitch during games and a motivator in the dressing room for his team-mates. He believes, in order to stay at a club like United, regardless of talent, belief plays a big part.

"You have to believe in yourself if you want to be at this football club for as long as you can," he revealed. "You have to want to be one of the first names on the teamsheet, who is playing every week."

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He added: "That’s always the ambition and that never leaves you. So you can look back at your career and think you did pretty much everything that you wanted to, in terms of respecting yourself and pushing yourself as hard as you can every day, and those around you.

"You don’t want to look back and have regrets, thinking you should have done this or that. For players like us, it’s important to have no regrets. We got told that at a young age."

You can listen to Scott McTominay and Jesse Lingard's episode of UTD Podcast and previous editions by visiting