Scott McTominay says he can't relax this summer with Erik ten Hag set to take over
Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay says he can’t relax this summer, with new boss Erik ten Hag set to take over.
Ten Hag has already begun work behind the scenes, setting a strong example to the entire squad, who know they are fighting for their futures.
United are set for a lowest ever Premier League points total, and new manager Ten Hag has a gigantic task ahead of him.
Even his looming presence appears to have put the fear into the United players, if McTominay’s comments are anything to go by.
Can’t relax this summer
McTominay told Sky Sports he feels like he can’t relax this summer, knowing he has to be at his absolute best when he returns for pre-season.
He said: “Your time to switch off is your holidays with your families. But even then I’m thinking ‘I need to train and do something to make sure I’m in peak condition for the new coach’.
“You never switch off, not even when you’re on holiday. It’s not just a case of going wherever with your family.
“You are still thinking of coming back and having the best possible impact on the new coach. The other players will be the same, football is your life and when it’s not going so well, it’s tough.”
McTominay won’t have much down time. He has Scotland’s World Cup play-off against Ukraine in June, followed by another play-off against Wales if they win.
It will leave just two to three weeks before he returns for pre-season with Manchester United in early July.
United players on edge
McTominay’s comments show that he cares, although this has never been in doubt. The conversation has turned in recent weeks to question whether he is good enough, in response to a run of poor displays.
He is unlikely to be the only player feeling anxious and worried, and that’s the way it should be after a truly terrible season.
Ten Hag’s arrival will give United a much-needed sense of direction, and should bring out the best in players who have seen their standards drop, collectively and individually.
The Dutchman will be signing new players too, and the added competition will raise the bar. It’s good to hear McTominay’s comments. Fans won’t mind the players suffering a bit, not at all, after what we have had to watch this season.
If they have to make some sacrifices this summer to return to Carrington at the top of their game, so be it. Perhaps they had it too easy before.