McTominay believes versatility could be key to Man United breakthrough

Scott McTominay.
Scott McTominay.

Scott McTominay believes his versatility could be key in making a breakthrough with Manchester United.

Lancaster’s rising Old Trafford star made his full debut as a young side beat Crystal Palace 2-0 on the final day of the Premier League season.

The 20-year-old played in his customary midfield role on his first senior start but can play in different positions.

The former Our Lady’s Catholic College pupil was used an emergency striker for the reserves at times, a growth spurt having seen him rise from 5ft6ins tall at the start of 2015 to 6ft4ins just two-and-a-half years later.

“It now feels a long time ago that I was playing up front,” McTominay told ManUtd.com

“You have to do these things though like playing out of position and adapting to a different role to where you’re going to play in the future.

“Hopefully, it will benefit you in a long career.

“I learned, whenever I play in midfield, how the striker wants the ball.

“Sometimes, when you play up there, you want it a certain way and it helps when you know what the strikers want, like how to jump and the second balls.

“It can only be a positive thing, nothing bad can possibly come out of playing out of position.

“It’s what you need to do because all managers want you to show versatility.”

As a mainstay of the Under 23s, McTominay worked under two different managers last season before getting the call up from Jose Mourinho.

Academy stalwart Warren Joyce left for a short-lived stint as Wigan’s manager in the Championship with former United, Newcastle and England midfielder Nicky Butt taking over.

“One of the things in football you have to adapt to is a change in manager,” said McTominay.

“It’s completely out of your control and you have to learn as much as possible about a different way of training and playing.

“We had a tough period but we’ve all come through that now and are all better players for it.

“It was a bit of a learning curve but it’s what you have to do in football - learn as much as you possibly can and progress, which we did towards the end of the season.

“Nicky has been brilliant and everything is like it was under Joycey, you have to work hard and that’s the principle of this football club and why so many young players come through and develop.

“It’s about working hard, staying positive and keeping on going to try to get in the first team.

“It was a difficult schedule in the reserves, playing one week and then resting for three weeks, and it’s difficult to get a run of games for your confidence and match sharpness.

“You can do all the training but playing matches is the most important thing for young people.

“That’s one thing I’ve learned over the last couple of years - the one main thing you need to progress is to play as many games as you possibly can at the highest possible level and show the manager you can be trusted in the first team.”