Man Utd's Scott McTominay eyes more caps after 'special' Alex McLeish visit

By Alasdair LamontBBC Scotland in Lima
Scotland midfielder Scott McTominay and manager Alex McLeish in training in Peru
Scott McTominay and Alex McLeish are preparing to face Peru
International friendly: Peru v Scotland
Venue: Estadio Nacional de Lima, Peru Date: Wednesday, 30 May Kick-off: 02:00 BST
Coverage: Live on BBC One Scotland & BBC Sport Scotland website

Scott McTominay says Alex McLeish's trip to Manchester United's training ground to convince him to choose Scotland over England was "special".

But the United midfielder maintains he would have made that decision anyway because of his fondness for the country of his father and grandfather's birth.

He could win his second cap for McLeish's side against Peru on Tuesday.

"For them to see me put on the Scotland jersey was an incredible moment for me," the 21-year-old told BBC Scotland.

"And all my family would have been very proud.

"Now you have to look forward to hopefully creating more memories for you and your family and Scotland as a national team."

McTominay, who made his debut in McLeish's first game in charge against Costa Rica in March, will not be tied to Scotland until he plays a competitive match and England manager Gareth Southgate had been keen to persuade him to represent the land of his birth.

'Easy' decision to play for Scotland - McTominay

But the prospect of him changing his mind now seems a remote one as he spoke passionately about why he made the choice he did.

"It was a relatively simple and easy decision for me because, growing up, my dad was at every single game with my mum and my dad is Scottish and my grandfather as well," he explained.

"We used to go up and see my grandparents in Helensburgh all the time and I still do to this day. It's a place I hold heavy in my heart and obviously I want to do well for Scotland.

"Obviously that personal touch was special for me and it made me think 'that's who I want to play for'.

"If he hadn't come, I would've made the same decision anyway, but I really do thank the manager, from my club and country, for showing the faith in me to pick me and hopefully getting more caps for Scotland."

He says the thought of missing this end-of-season tour never occurred to him.

"It's been a long season for some of the boys and obviously if they're carrying little niggles then they need to be fit for more important games coming up," he said.

Scott McTominay in action for Manchester United
Scott McTominay broke into the Manchester United first team this season

"So it's probably the right decision that some of them who have genuine knocks and niggles do stay home.

"But I'm only 21 years old. I want as much football as I can possibly get, so that's important to me, to keep playing.

"There's hunger for playing football in general and it's an even bigger hunger when it's playing for Scotland."

Having made his Manchester United debut in May 2017, McTominay became a regular first-team squad member this season as well as earning his first Scotland cap.

It has been quite a year.

"Obviously, when you start in the Manchester United first team, it is a little bit different to what you're used to with the younger lads, but eventually you start getting to know the boys and the same with the Scotland lads - it does become the norm," he added.

"But you have to keep pinching yourself and making sure you are working hard every day and you don't get too comfortable because that's when players can slip off.

"I feel that's a really good asset that I'm always really hungry and wanting to work hard every single day."

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