Solskjaer watching United training.

How Solskjaer maintains 'massive' standards

Friday 30 October 2020 11:38

Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay has revealed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is “always watching” the players and the threat of his wrath maintains high standards within the squad.

McTominay has become a valuable asset since making his first-team debut back in May 2017 and a large part of that success is partly down to his relentless work ethic, both on and off the pitch.

A United fan through and through, Scott is proud to wear the shirt and is closing in on his 100th appearance for the club. He speaks passionately about achieving success as a Red and believes in our young squad, which is improving all of the time under the watchful eye of Solskjaer and his coaches.

In a big interview for Sunday’s edition of United Review, the matchday programme at Old Trafford, McTominay provides an insight into the standards that are kept at the Aon Training Complex.
“For me, it’s important to keep pushing every day in training,” explains Scott, before the Arsenal match. “Kieran McKenna and Michael Carrick, the standards they demand from me as an individual and for the group are massive. You never have time to take your foot off the gas. The manager is always watching and, if you take your foot off the pedal, you’ll know about it. 

“I feel, in that respect, it’s so important to keep dialled in and keep focused. You have to keep really trying to push forwards and create good moments for yourself in your career as, ultimately, that individual work you do will pay off collectively for the team and really push us to win trophies.”
McTominay was named in the starting XI for recent big games against Newcastle United, Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea, before making a substitute appearance in the win over RB Leipzig in midweek.

Many supporters expect him to start when Arsenal visit Old Trafford on Sunday and probably alongside Fred, who has been excellent in recent weeks to earn a Player-of-the-Month nomination. 

Scott is full of praise for his Brazilian team-mate, but points out the squad has an embarrassment of riches in midfield and any number of combinations can start. “I feel like obviously Fred is a terrific player but we’ve got Nemanja, we’ve got Paul... phew, there are endless options in midfield really.

“We can play Bruno in midfield. Donny is a great lad and a brilliant football player. I’m sure, the way he is working in training and how hard he’s working, his time will definitely come to get more minutes on the pitch. I spoke to him a little bit and he’s a top kid. The way he applies himself every day, he is never late – always on time – and always trains to his absolute maximum. We have got a really, really good player and really good person there.

“With regards to the players we’ve got in midfield, Nemanja is so experienced and I feel comfortable playing with him, but I am comfortable playing with every single one of them. I am sure they would all say that and it can only bode well for us going forward.
“We have a big squad and the training has been intense. Everybody is fighting for a place in the squad. Everyone is coming into training not knowing if you’re going to travel to the hotel or be in the squad, if you’re going to play or be in the starting XI. Nobody is guaranteed to be anywhere at this football club. That is when you get the best out of your players.” 

As for Arsenal, McTominay has fond memories of facing the Gunners while playing in the Academy. “I remember playing them when I was about 14 or 15. We used to go down to London to play Chelsea and Arsenal and they were always big, strong boys in that age group and really good teams. 

“But, in terms of watching them, when I was around that age, the battles I used to watch were amazing. Patrick Vieira and Roy Keane – the classic stuff like that, was just amazing to watch. Football, for us, has changed a little bit since then.”

Order a copy of United Review to read the full interview with Scott McTominay.