Scott McTominay recently shared a memorable insight into his early days at Manchester United, specifically a significant piece of advice from Jose Mourinho during his initial training sessions.
Having progressed through United’s ranks and securing his first professional contract in 2013, McTominay made his debut under Mourinho against Arsenal in the 2016/17 season.
His standout performances led to 23 appearances in the following season, earning him Mourinho’s unique accolade as the ‘Manager’s Player of the Year.’
However, McTominay’s journey wasn’t without challenges, as he recalled a training session where he perceived bias from the referee towards the experienced players.
Expressing his frustration with Michael Carrick and Ashley Young, McTominay found himself on the receiving end of Mourinho’s stern admonition, emphasizing the importance of first impressions.
Reflecting on the incident on the High-Performance Podcast, he recounted Mourinho’s words: “He dressed me down…said, ‘Who do you think you are? You’ve done nothing.'”
In hindsight, McTominay discovered that Mourinho was testing his character and commitment to the group.
The experience served as a valuable lesson, reinforcing the significance of earning respect within the team.
Furthermore, Mourinho played a pivotal role in advising McTominay to “follow his heart” and represent Scotland internationally.
This decision not only endeared him to his family but also showcased Mourinho’s mentorship beyond the pitch.
Despite Mourinho’s departure in December 2018, McTominay remains grateful for the opportunities and guidance provided.
Their continued contact reflects the enduring impact of Mourinho’s influence on McTominay’s career, instilling a powerful sense of self-belief that persists to this day.