Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag gushed over the impact of Scott McTominay after scoring twice late on in Saturday’s comeback win against Brentford.
The Scotland midfielder came off the bench and found the net twice in stoppage time at the end of the second half to secure a memorable 2-1 victory at Old Trafford.
The Bees had put in a solid defensive performance after Mathias Jensen gave them the lead during the first half.
Ten Hag had already thrown on four substitutes prior to McTominay’s 87th-minute introduction, with the 26-year-old claiming he did not clearly hear his manager’s instructions due to the noise inside Old Trafford, though he presumed he had been asked to score twice.
When asked in his post-match press conference what he had actually told McTominay, Ten Hag joked: “I said, ‘Score two goals’!
“You see he is Man Utd in every way, in his heart. So he’s playing for the badge, he gives his life. When you are coming on and you give this to the team it tells a lot.
“It says a lot about the dressing room, they are together and also I felt the whole afternoon the strong togetherness with the fans. Even when we were losing, they kept standing behind us, they kept us going, the team kept going and, finally, they got rewarded.
“That is why is here. He is one of our midfield players and he can make the boxes. You see against Burnley, he played, he should have played against Crystal Palace but he was ill and came out of the team. And then others took over.
“But, as everyone, he fights for his position but it helps when you contribute like this afternoon.”
90min reported in August that McTominay was the subject of transfer interest from West Ham United over the summer, but Man Utd knocked back a £30m offer and the midfielder ended up staying at Old Trafford.
“What it is, when there is the right price, then every player has a price. But he has a big value, sporting and also economic,” Ten Hag said of why McTominay remained at the club.
“So I want to have a player like Scott McTominay in the squad. Scott McTominay is Man Utd in every way. For every minute, he will fight for the match. Those players you need in the squad. Everyone else is fighting for his place.
“Still we are now in October. Normally in October, you have to find your starting XI. We are [having] a lot of injuries, we’re not there, so we still have to find your best balance.”
Speaking on the team’s performance as a whole, Ten Hag said: “You make your own luck. I am really proud of this team. They kept going the whole game. They kept the faith.
“I want to thank the fans. They kept us going and we made the turning point. You felt the explosion. To describe this feeling.. I can’t.. but it’s a great feeling I can tell you that.”