McTominay exclusive: I'm determined to succeed
Scott's lifelong love for United is on display in his passionate interview, which you can watch in full here...
Firstly, Scott, is this your first visit to Australia and how are you finding it? “Yeah, this is my first time in Australia and it is a country I have never been to. It is exciting for all of the boys to be somewhere different to other pre-season tours that we have had from my time. It is an exciting time for everyone.” You had 16 hours on the plane from Manchester over here to Perth – who was your travelling companion? “I was with Dan James, the new boy. I was looking after him and making sure he is all right. He is a top lad and we get on really well. It is important for him to get some good bonding time in with the lads on this pre-season trip and take that into the season.” How are the new lads, Aaron and Daniel, settling in? “Yeah, they are young boys, aren't they, so it is so easy for them to come in, settle in and be part of the group straight away. You can see that with the pair of them. They are both very nice boys and very hard-working boys as well. That is one thing that will be demanded of them on this pre-season trip. It is important that we do get that bond. “Obviously, we know that last season was nowhere near good enough for Manchester United, but it is about what we do on the pitch now. It is about what standards we set on the pitch now, how we go about everything on the pitch, rather than talking, so it is focus time and hopefully this season is going to be a big one for everyone involved.” You have been at United your whole life, but they have just come from other clubs and it is a big deal to join United. Are they taking it in their stride? “It is the biggest move for any young player who is playing in the Premier League, or the Championship, or coming from a different country. We see it a lot with some of the foreign players who come. It is an incredible achievement for both of them and it must be such a proud moment for all of their family and friends. Now they realise the hard work starts now, though. Proper hard work. It is not about coming and saying: 'That's it, I have made it, look at me.' It is very, very serious. Obviously we want to have fun in the training sessions as well, but the main concentration in this pre-season is getting that work in and a tactical base for the games coming up.” The manager has spoken about wanting the players to be fitter. Are there signs already that Ole means what he says? “Yeah, for sure. The base work that we had in Manchester was exceptional, and I feel like a lot of the boys have never had a week like that in their careers before. But it is exciting. Fitness is so important, but it is also about tactics and getting all of the right details right, and setting the right standards so that it is up here and never drops below. I feel like that is the culture that we are getting with the senior pros in the group. We have got Ash, Nemanja and all of the other boys who have been there and done it. It is important for them to pass the message across to the young boys like myself, and hopefully I can be one of the those who is ready to pass on the message as well.” We saw you were training on holiday – do you never stop? “Obviously I go on holiday with my friends and family, but it is so important for me. I have been brought up my whole life always keeping fit, and always doing the right things. It is more [about] just being ready for yourself. Nobody else goes on a football pitch for you. It is yourself, and you just mug yourself off if you don't come back in the right way. That is the way I see it.” We have two games here in Australia, against Perth Glory and Leeds United – what are you personally trying to get out of them? “The results are a good guideline. I feel like we want to win games. You don't play any football match and don't want to win. We have two important matches to start us off and it is about getting that fitness, first and foremost, but I feel like that is a given. If you are going to play football matches then you are going to get fit anyway. It is about those details, us as a team, how we are going to play, in different ways, and how we all come together as a group to show that we are a really good team and we are ready for the new season.” The manager says everybody has a clean slate this summer – is that how everyone is seeing it? “Yeah, of course. It is a clean slate and it has to be. It is so important for us now. Whatever happened last season, it is still in the back of your mind, it hurts; it is not an easy thing to forget about. We were very disappointed in ourselves and how we did, and it was obviously difficult, but now we have to look past that. Football is a game of seasons and you have to look forward. It is so important that you do that because, if you don't, then you can dwell on things for too long.” Is your personal aim to be in the starting XI come the start of the new season? “I want to go and prove to everybody that I should be in the team. You have to show you are ready and capable of being in that XI. You have to show the manager in training, and in the time you get on the pitch, that you are ready.” You scored twice at the end of last season – are you looking to score more goals from midfield going forward? “Sure. I am always on YouTube watching midfield players getting in the box and scoring goals. Look at Scholesy [Paul Scholes] and Carras [Michael Carrick]. Even players from other teams. The list is ongoing with midfielders who score goals – Paul [Pogba] is a prime example. Obviously I want to be a goal-scoring midfielder as well. Whether you are playing as a no.6 or a no.8, you have to arrive in those positions, and it is important that you are composed enough to score as well. That is one trait that I do want to take forward and add to my game in the coming season.” Is that something that Ole can help you with? He was a deadly goalscorer… “You can see that he was absolutely ruthless in front of goal. That is a message to the strikers as well, and a message to the midfield players and the wingers as well. We have to be clinical, we have to be ruthless in front of goal. You see that in the top teams in Europe. Ourselves, we have to match those top teams and to win the big, big games, we have to be ruthless. That is one of the key messages in the season to come.” Is that one of the things we need to do differently to challenge? “There are numerous different things, but obviously it is up to us to keep it in-house so that we know these are the messages we are getting, these are the different things we can work on, and it is so important to keep that as a tight group – that we all know our jobs, everybody knows what they are doing, everybody knows the time to press, the time to sit back. It is good to keep that as a group, so that not everybody [outside the club] knows.” We have six games this summer, but at the back of your mind are you already thinking to Chelsea and the first game of the Premier League season? “Yeah. There are eyes on that from fans and pundits. It is a huge game to kickstart the season, but we are just taking it step by step. You have to take it training session by training session. Then when the games come, you have to just really concentrate on the. It is about ironing out these fine details. We have a good group of senior pros. Look at Ash, Juan, Nemanja, David and different boys like that. There is so much experience there that they can pass to some very, very hungry young players who are willing to do anything to get in the team.” The Premier League season starts with Chelsea at home and then Wolves away! It is straight back into the action with some big games… “We are straight back in and that is what we want. As a footballer you don’t want to be on holiday for seven weeks. It is nice to have holidays, but two weeks go by and you want to come back.”