United Briefing: Scott's two tests

Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay says he doesn’t pay much attention to statistics when it comes to evaluating his own personal form.

The Scotland international is enjoying another good season with the Reds, featuring in 18 of our 21 Premier League games so far.

Our no.39 has been a key part of the midfield which has helped us rise to second in the top flight and secure a berth in the fifth round of the Emirates FA Cup.

McTominay is keen to point out tangible landmarks and improvements like that, rather than the minute, targeted data found all over social media from companies like Opta.

“I think every game is a chance to improve. Every game at this football club is hugely scrutinised in every detail,” Scott told United Review, our official matchday programme, ahead of the Premier League clash with Southampton.

“For me, it’s about doing my best every time I play and wanting to improve all the time and working with the manager and the coaches.

“That’s about it for me, I don’t really dive too much into form and different things like that. If the team is winning and you’re consistently playing to the best of your ability and you’re always looking to improve, then that’s a good season for me in terms of numbers and statistics.

“I find people get too caught up in ‘oh he made this many tackles, or he made this many interceptions'. As a player, you know when you’re playing well and you know when other people are playing well.

“That ‘eye’ test is the best form of judging football players and just forgetting statistics.

“I can’t remember many games when there hasn’t been 11 players who haven’t played well and it’s about improving on that.”

Scott – who has been passed fit to take on the Saints at Old Trafford on Tuesday, having departed the goalless draw with Arsenal early at the weekend, due to stomach cramps – also looks back fondly on another milestone in January.

The 24-year-old was handed the captain’s armband by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for the first time for the 1-0 FA Cup third-round victory over Watford, a game in which he scored the only goal, with an early header.

McTominay saw the decision by the boss to make him skipper – for the first half, at least, until Harry Maguire entered the fray – as a leadership ‘test’, which he believes he passed.

“He didn’t really say much. He just said ‘captain tomorrow’ and looked at me. I just smiled; I didn’t want to let off too much emotion but I was so, so pleased,” Scott enthused.

United Daily: Shaping up for SouthamptonVideo

“For the manager, I presume every decision he makes with me and other players is a test. It’s not just ‘oh I’ll give him the captaincy for no reason’, it’s a test. Everything in life is a test and you have to pass those tests.

“It’s important to really show people that you can be an example at this football club and not let things go to your head. With something like the captaincy, it would be easy to then start doing things differently and shouting and screaming and not playing how you normally would, but that doesn’t make any difference to me.

“Whenever I’m on the pitch with H [Maguire] I feel like there are 11 captains on the pitch who need to be vocal and leaders as well.”

Solskjaer's press conference: The first partVideo

WHAT'S HAPPENING TODAY?

United host Southampton in a key Premier League clash, which you can follow on ManUtd.com, MUTV and in our Official App. Pre-match build-up begins on MUTV at 19:10 GMT.

Also on Tuesday, we'll be announcing the results of our January Player of the Month vote - find out more details below.

On the awards note, Goal of the Month for January will also open, in the afternoon.

MUTV Group Chat: Southampton & Everton previewVideo

WHAT HAPPENED YESTERDAY?

Ole previewed the Saints' visit, outlining the latest on his squad, as we approach a third Premier League game in six days, and a 10th already in 2021.

As another loan was announced, the boss also gave a deadline day transfer update, although there was no late incoming business for the Reds.

Finally, our three nominees for the Player of the Month vote were revealed. To find out who they are and how to vote, click here.

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