McTominay: No matter if we're underdogs
Like everyone connected to Manchester United, Scott McTominay is counting down to the big Champions League quarter-final first-leg clash with Barcelona tonight (Wednesday) - and the Reds midfielder isn’t bothered at all to hear many pundits label United as underdogs.
McTominay was one of the star performers in the Reds’ stunning comeback win against Paris Saint-Germain last month and he’s desperate to be involved this evening at Old Trafford.
The midfielder says everyone is relishing the challenge Lionel Messi and co. will bring and he believes the confidence and learnings taken from the victory over PSG can stand the team in good stead, no matter what others may think.
“That’s just opinions that we’re the underdogs. Everyone has an opinion and that’s football but we know ourselves what we can do and how we’re going to set up and how we’re going to go for the game, so it’s important we get it right,” Scott told us.
United v Barça: All of our goalsVideo
“It’s the quarter-final of the Champions League and the majority of the boys have played games at this stage. We’re all professionals and we’re all relishing the opportunity to go and show that we’re a force to be stopped as well.
“The PSG experience was invaluable. Michael Carrick is constantly saying the same messages to us about making sure that whenever you are on the pitch you learn and then you reflect on games afterwards. That’s what we all try to do, even when we win, we’ll still look at what we did that made us a better team, we’ll look at why started well in a game or why we didn’t start so well.
“It’s important to take on board every single bit of information the coaches say – they all bring different things to the table and it’s so important we listen carefully and also learn from every experience on the pitch.”
As expected, much of the talk in the lead-up to tonight’s game has been about how to stop Messi. McTominay says the Reds are fully prepared on what to expect from the Barca playmaker, but are keen to focus on themselves.
“He’s one of the best ever and that’s a fact,” he admitted.
“He’s an unbelievable player and the things he’s done in his career are ridiculous. We’re out to stop him and stop him from doing what he does most of the time on the pitch, but as I said we’re a group full of quality and athleticism so we’re ready for the challenge.
“We need them so, so much,” he added, when asked about the impact the Old Trafford faithful can have later.
“They’re the 12th man whenever you get these big Champions League games and even when we go away from home the drive and determination that they bring is incredible. They’re the best fans in the world by some distance.”
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