McTominay exclusive: Boxing Day is unique
Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay is prepared for a Boxing Day battle when Newcastle United come to town.
Our no.39 believes there are no easy games in the Premier League, and thinks Steve Bruce’s side will arrive in M16 full of belief having beaten us at St James’ Park in early October.
“We’ve played against them already this season and we know it’ll be tough,” the central midfielder says in United Review, our official matchday programme.
“We know we’ve got a good team on paper but we know they’re not an easy team to play against, with the manager they’ve got now and some of the players they’ve got coming through.
“They’ve some experienced heads as well. It’s difficult, you know – there’s not a game in the Premier League that’s easy, where you can just go and win comfortably.
“Even so, this is a game we’re looking forward to. Obviously Boxing Day is a special occasion for lots of people with the time off and all that, so hopefully we can put on a show for the fans against Newcastle.”
The Magpies currently sit ninth in the Premier League table, one place below United, having won five of their last eight games in the competition.
However, McTominay insists the Reds have to focus on our own strengths, rather than those of others.
“Yeah, of course, we know they’re dangerous,” the 23-year-old adds.
“We know the threats that they have – they’ve got some fast wingers and they’ve got a good striker and some good players in midfield, as well as the backline.
“But like I’ve said, every team in the Premier League has good players nowadays so it’s about how we nullify them and how we play our own game.”
The Boxing Day match is the latest in a flurry of festive fixtures for Scott and his team-mates, but the Academy graduate relishes the Christmas period and the challenges it poses.
“You know what to expect whenever it comes around Christmas time, that you might not be able to see your friends or see your family as much as you’d like, but that comes with the job.
“It’s part and parcel of football, it’s part and parcel of the life we’re living. If you didn’t enjoy it then you wouldn’t do it.
“The training on Christmas Day, the games on Boxing Day and the 28th: that’s what footballers love. They love to play games, they love to do the training as well. Hopefully we can keep that going.”
You can read the full interview with Scott in the Newcastle edition of United Review, which will be available to buy inside and outside Old Trafford on Boxing Day.