Scott McTominay has barely played this season with Erik ten Hag prepared to let the midfielder leave for West Ham in the summer. The lifelong United fan wanted to stay put and the manager will be relieved he did on Saturday afternoon, with him coming off the bench in 87th minute and going on to score two goals to give us a 2-1 win over Brentford.
Speaking in the press conference after the game, Ten Hag revealed what United means to the player and how he’s earning his place in this team.
He is Manchester United in everything and in his heart. So he’s playing for the badge. He gives his life. And when you’re coming on and you give this to the team, it tells a lot.
He is one of our our midfield players and yeah, he can make the [difference in the] boxes, you see. Against Burnley he played and then he should have played against Crystal Palace, but then he was ill and then he comes out of the team and then others take over. But he has, as everyone [does], to fight for his position. But of course, it helps when you when you contribute like this afternoon.
Ten Hag was impressed with the mentality of the team who were prepared to fight to the end to get the win and how this must be the turning point of the season.
After all the setbacks we have, it’s not easy for a team in the dressing room. You see they’re connected and they will fight for each other. We have to do it always. We really made it an issue after the defeat against Galatasaray where we let each other down in certain occasions. It can’t be. When you play a game, you have to be in it for 95 or 100 minutes.
This must be the turning point. This reflects our season so far from the start of a game. It has to be that you believe and you see the fans believe: they are sticking together. They are behind us and they kept us going. But then we have a plan and that is the big compliment for the team. They kept the plan. They kept switching. And from there on in the right moment, you bring the ball in the box. And of course we had to make and bring more players in the box. And I think that’s what we did the last 30 minutes and then you get rewarded in the end.