Jose Mourinho reveals why he gave Scott McTominay a special honour at Manchester United awards night

The Portuguese awarded McTominay a trophy for ‘Manager’s Player of the Year’ - an award that was not on the honours list at the start of the evening

Peter Rutzler
Wednesday 02 May 2018 12:16 BST
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McTominay was given a special award by Mourinho
McTominay was given a special award by Mourinho (Manchester United)

Jose Mourinho has explained why he gave promising midfielder Scott McTominay an unexpected accolade at Manchester United’s end of season awards last night, saying it was “unacceptable” that the youngster went home empty handed.

The Portuguese awarded McTominay a trophy for ‘Manager’s Player of the Year’ - an award that was not on the honours list at the start of the evening.

McTominay has enjoyed a breakthrough season at Old Trafford, proving himself to be a worthy deputy to club record signing Paul Pogba, filling in for the Frenchman on several important occasions, including against Sevilla in the Champions League and against north-west rivals Liverpool.

And when Mourinho discovered that McTominay wasn’t to be awarded either the Denzil Haroun Reserve Team Player of the Year or Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year awards, the United boss made sure that his latest academy star would not end the night without any recognition of his impressive season.

“It was between him and Matic, because Matic last March told me ‘I want to play for you, and I want to play for Manchester United’,” Mourinho told MUTV. “And he made it happen. He has been very consistent, and very important for the balance of the team. I was going for him, but then I understood that in the two awards for young players, Scott was not getting one.

“I changed my mind because it wasn’t acceptable. He is the one who has done everything. He started the season in the academy and ended it playing big games in the Premier League. I thought this kid cannot go home without an award.

“I always say that for me there are not young players or old players, it is just about the quality of the personality and this kid has everything that I want, so I think that it is good for the younger boys in the academy to look at him as an example of player.

“We know it is important to have players like Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford that were born in the club, but you need to have the right profile. Scott shows to other players that the dream is still alive.”

McTominay, who made his Scotland debut against Costa Rica back in March to cap off an impressive campaign, was delighted to pick up the award, but also said he is determined to make more appearances next season.

“Well obviously a surprise,” McTominay added. "It was really nice for me. Obviously it was tremendous honour, and I am so grateful to the manger for choosing me. I’m really looking to kick on in the last three games and the cup final.

David de Gea won the Player of the Year award once again
David de Gea won the Player of the Year award once again (Getty)

“You always have your goals and ambitions and some years you exceed that and some years you don’t, obviously it has been an amazing year for me playing 20 games and next season you want 25,30,35 more.

“I always want more, in everything that I do. I might not have scored or got an assist so there is always room for improvement. The concentration level you need to be switched on for every match, you want to grow up and learn from Matic, Pogba, Carrick.

"The best high was after the Liverpool game, it was one of the best feelings I’ve ever had. I’m a Manchester United fan, it doesn’t get much better than beating Liverpool. Marcus scoring two goals was a great day for the academy.”

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