Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay has challenged himself to score more goals after a prolific couple of games for Scotland during the international break.
Three days after scoring twice in the closing stages of Scotland’s 3-0 victory over Cyprus in the nation’s opening match of the qualifying campaign for the 2024 European Championships, McTominay bagged another brace at Hampden Park against Spain in a famous triumph for Steve Clarke’s hosts.
McTominay had scored a grand total of one international goal in his first 36 caps for Scotland – several of which were spent at centre-back, admittedly – before these goal-laden few days. Only Denmark’s Rasmus Hojlund has scored more goals across the opening week of European qualifiers than McTominay – whose tally of four draws him level with former Manchester United teammate Cristiano Ronaldo.
Basking in the glow of Scotland’s first victory against Spain in almost 40 years, McTominay reflected on his goalscoring past to Viaplay: “As a kid, I was an attacking midfielder and then I stretched a little bit, I got a little too big for that – the little ones in between the lines – but then I was more of a sitting midfield player. But I like to do both; I like to get in the box and obviously help my teammates defend as well.”
In just two years, McTominay grew 14 inches as a teenager and currently stands at a towering 6’4 (1.93m). The 26-year-old is yet to score a Premier League goal this season and has found the net once in England’s top flight across the previous two years.
However, McTominay is targeting an increased end product in the weeks ahead, pledging: “For me, I’ve got to keep doing that. I know I can add more goals and assists to my game and I think the last two games have been an example of that.”
Following the late summer arrival of Casemiro, McTominay has endured a struggle for playing time under Erik ten Hag at Manchester United. The free-scoring Scotland international has been afforded one Premier League start since playing the opening 59 minutes of a 6-3 derby defeat to Manchester City in October, the last game before Casemiro made his full debut. Yet, if McTominay can live up to his ambition of reproducing his international goalscoring form at club level, there’s every chance he could play in advance of United’s Brazilian stopper.
McTominay will return to Carrington with a bounce in his step after a memorable night in front of a deafening Hampden Park crowd which left the midfielder in awe. “Look at this place!” McTominay gushed. “I’ve never seen anything like it. Incredible. Incredible.”
Relaying Clarke’s prematch team talk, McTominay revealed: “The manager said this is our chance to create legacies as Scotland players and these are the nights in 20, 30 years that people remember and obviously they’ll watch back the games and say I was there or I had little children who came and watched the game. That’s what the game’s about.”
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