Scott McTominay’s rise to Manchester United’s first team has taken a lot of people by surprise. A rapid growth spurt brought its problems for the young midfielder and he missed lots of games at youth team level.

The club stuck by him though and Jose Mourinho has seen something in the player. The manager has given him plenty of opportunities in the first team, even in the big games, and finished the season by giving him an award at the end of season party.

McTominay is determined to keep working hard and keep progressing.

Over the past four years I’ve missed a lot of games. From age 16 to 19 I wasn’t in a state to compete with men. I was smaller and shorter. My body was all over the place but as I got older I started to adapt.

Over the past two years I have played centre midfield and turned out in a lot of matches. I’ve progressed at a rate with which I’m happy. I’m not a perfectionist but I want to keep improving. You have to be confident in your own ability. From playing with my primary school team to Manchester United, I have had to be confident to make an impression on people.

I also have really good friends and a tight network group who got me through those bad times. Now things are looking up and it is good for those who have been there for me through the good and bad. I’m only 21. I want to keep going. I would go the whole year playing if I could but you need a break.

I had a run at club level at the end of the season and I need to take that into the international matches. I just want to keep working hard and doing well. There is big pressure playing for United but it makes you grow up quicker. I am more of a man than I was this time last year.

This season, McTominay committed his international future to the Scottish team, despite being born in England, due to the Scottish family on his father’s side. Mourinho made the journey to Scotland to watch the midfielder’s debut.

My manager came up to Hampden for the game against Costa Rica and was delighted to see one of his boys make his international debut.

He is a top manager and the things he has done for me this season have been incredible. I want to thank him. I didn’t want to say it on TV or interviews but it is important he knows I am grateful for the chances he has given me and we can keep progressing into next season.