Scott McTominay is relishing the added responsibility Steve Clarke has placed upon him in the Scotland squad ahead of Euro 2020 and is ready to reach the “next level” as a player.
The Manchester United midfielder, 24, has become a senior figure within the senior side since his international debut in March 2018.
McTominay is expected to start in Scotland’s final warm-up game against Luxembourg on Sunday, live on Sky Sports, after joining up with the group in midweek following last month’s Europa League final defeat.
Ahead of Scotland’s participation in their first major men’s tournament for 23 years, McTominay praised the role Clarke and United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer have played in his ongoing development.
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“Both at club and country the coaches have invested so much time in me, helping me to improve,” McTominay said.
“Steve Clarke whenever I have come [with Scotland] he is always so honest and open with me and he expects a lot from me which I enjoy.
“I enjoy that role and the responsibility from a manager who demands. He is most definitely demanding, and it is good for my game as well as I am getting older.
“I am 24 now so it is a chance to really go to that next level in my game and I am always wanting to do that.”
McTominay described the 2-2 draw a depleted Scotland managed against the Netherlands on Wednesday as a “stepping stone” to maintain the momentum built under Clarke.
Despite being a regular under Clarke, either in his accustomed midfield position or as a centre-back, McTominay is approaching the Luxembourg game as a chance to enhance his selection prospects.
“It’s a really good opportunity for the boys to stake their claim in the team,” he said.
“For myself that is the goal. That is the ambition for all the players. Nobody is a dead cert probably other than (captain) Andy Robertson.”
Scotland have not made it past the group stages in their 10 previous major tournament finals, but McTominay is adamant there is a belief in their chances this time around.
The Scots open their campaign against Czech Republic on June 14, before games against England – in which McTominay could make his 25th cap – on June 18 and Croatia four days later.
“It is not just a case of turning up and it is a party time. We are here to play and we are not coming to want to just be a part of the tournament and it is a nice experience for us.
“We want to play and to play well. The sole ambition the manager has told us is we want to come, do well and get results.
“It’s not a case of being easy-ozy and it’s our first tournament for 23 years. We are coming to improve and hopefully build for the next tournament that we might go to.”
The United academy product has earned plaudits from Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho, who gave McTominay his senior club debut in May 2017, but is focused on ensuring he delivers his best performances for his country this summer.
“Football is all about opinions,” he said. “You have some guys who like you and some guys who do. That is the way it is. You can’t please everybody, and you never will.
“I just don’t really take too much notice of both sides of it.
“Sir Alex is an icon and somebody who I admire immensely and obviously the same with Jose Mourinho and my current manager Ole. For them guys to be pleased with me is pleasing for myself.”
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