Scott McTominay discusses Jose Mourinho’s influence on his career

Scott McTominay says Jose Mourinho holds a “special place in my heart” and has revealed his former manager still keeps in contact with him.

Mourinho handed McTominay his United debut, bringing the midfielder on in a Premier League match at Arsenal in 2017.

Man Utd vs Liverpool

October 20, 2019, 3:00pm

McTominay, who was used in a variety of different roles by the Portuguese, has gone on to become a mainstay in the midfield of Mourinho’s successor, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, this season.

Despite his sacking at United, Mourinho still has a special bond with McTominay – the player he said “will always be my boy” – and continues to have an influence on his career.

“Jose is very special to me,” McTominay told Sky Sports News. “He still keeps in contact with me now and keeps in touch after some games.

Mourinho created the Manager’s Player of the Season award to reward McTominay’s performances in the 2017/18 campaign

“He’ll always have a special place in mine and my family’s heart because he’s the one who brought you in, he was the one who trusted you, he was the one who had belief in you.

“I owe a tremendous amount of credit to him because if it wasn’t for him I might not necessarily be sitting in this seat.”

McTominay made his first senior United appearance at Arsenal

‘I wouldn’t be here without academy coaches’

McTominay’s development started long before he reached the United first team, though.

“I wouldn’t be at this football club if it wasn’t for Paul McGuiness, Dave Bushall, Tony Whelan and people like that who show an absolutely ridiculous amount of patience with somebody who can’t even play an U18 game because he’s growing, his legs are stretching and he’s got no co-ordination,” he added.

“Yeah they need to be patient. Off the pitch as well they have to be patient with you as well. There’s a lot of different things with school and in your education and your digs you’re staying in.

Warren Joyce played a key role in McTominay’s development as reserves manager

“Dave Bushall had to change my digs like three or four times because my Mum at home wasn’t happy or whatever. It’s amazing the level of work they go to, to ensure that every family and every player is happy. It’s incredible and a real credit to the academy and the staff here as well.”

‘Smiling comes from winning’

United have made their worst start to a season for 30 years. They sit two points above the relegation zone after winning just two of their opening eight Premier League games.

Solskjaer, the United manager, admits he faces a “big, uphill challenge” to get United into the top four this season and has pleaded with supporters to give him and his young side patience during the rebuild.

McTominay has been a mainstay for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this season

United’s next match is the visit of league leaders and rivals Liverpool, live on Super Sunday, and McTominay remains upbeat they can turn things round after the international break.

“Smiling comes from winning. That’s the way life is,” McTominay added.

“When you’re doing well everyone wants to smile and everybody is pleased. That’s where we want to get to as a group. Hopefully in the next few games we can do that as well.”