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Scott McTominay never allowed his head to drop during injury struggles at Manchester United in 2019-20, with the Scot saying “you’re only mugging yourself off” if you do not work hard to bounce back stronger than before.
The 23-year-old did just that last season after finding himself stuck on the sidelines around the turn of the calendar year.
An untimely knee problem kept McTominay out from Boxing Day to February 23, with 12 games missed in total.
With there fierce competition for places at Old Trafford, anybody who drops out of the side faces a tough task to get back in.
United academy graduate McTominay has, however, won the trust of Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer during his time as a senior star in Manchester.
A positive attitude, along with no little ability, have made him a useful asset for the Red Devils, with every challenge put to him – on and off the pitch – being faced head on.
“Whenever it’s all going swimmingly, you’re playing every week and scoring a few goals here and there, it’s good. Then you get a setback and you have to react to that,” McTominay told the official podcast of the Scotland national team.
“You can’t hang your head and be disappointed about that. You have to think about when you’ll be back and set dates for yourself to push yourself back from injury as well as you can without re-injuring yourself.
“For me, injuries are part of football and you have to accept that. You’ll never go through your career without picking up a minor injury, or a longer-term injury. Everyone will have some troubles in their career, but that’s part and parcel of football.”
McTominay has battled hard to become part of the first-team fold at United and, with a close-knit support network around him, he is not about to give anything up without a fight.
He added: “A lot of that does come from the people you’ve got around you, your family… my mum and dad stayed at my house for two or three months when I got injured.
“They made sure I ate all the right foods, which I do anyway, checking if there’s anything you need. They’re the type of people who get you through stuff; always having someone there to speak to if you’re having a tougher time.
“For me, it went so quick from when I first got injured in December - my knee, that was 10 weeks - that went really quick because I had people around, coming to see me. You can’t really do much when you’re on crutches!