Scott McTominay says football’s enforced break due to the coronavirus has proved a reality check for the Premier League’s top stars.
Players who have everything done for them on a daily basis and every whim catered for, have had to become self-sufficient during the lockdown.
Manchester United stars have had to fend for themselves, from overseeing their own training programmes to preparing their own food on a daily basis, with no-one there to do it for them.
McTominay, who came through the ranks at United, said such values were instilled in him as a young player and said the lockdown was a timely reminder of just how lucky modern-day players are.
“For me, you hear the stories about getting the life of luxury at Manchester United and people take that for granted, like the food in the canteen, your kit being laid out for you every morning,” said McTominay.
“People just expect that and you have to always remember where you come from in that respect and always appreciate what people do for you.
“I feel like that is the culture that is brought through for us.”
United’s players have been sent individual food hampers, to make sure they eat healthily, while club staff have also sent them links to online recipes and cooking lessons to enable them to produce meals.
There is a weekly Friday weigh-in for players, to check they are sticking to their diets and not over-indulging on the food front, as well as the daily tailored training programmes they have been issued.
McTominay snubbed loan chance to stake first-team claim
Midfielder McTominay, who has become a regular since being handed his debut by former boss Jose Mourinho, revealed he could have gone on loan a while back but was determined to prove himself at United.
“About a year and half ago there was a time where it might have been a possibility and then somebody leaves or something like that,” said McTominay.
“Then your opportunity comes and you have to take it.
“You hear loads of stories about boys going on loan and different things like that and I always had it in my head that I don’t want that.
“I want to be showing myself here first and if it doesn’t work here then you go somewhere else.”
Lingard: I had to fight to make it at United
Team-mate Jesse Lingard took the same route as McTominay through the United set-up, and said it had given him a real appreciation of the privileged position he now finds himself in.
“It’s the biggest club in the world so it’s tough to start at the bottom and work your way up,” said Lingard.
“There’s a lot of obstacles on the way, a lot of highs and lows, but when you finally get to the end you’re playing for the first team week in, week out, you cherish every moment that you’ve been through.
“For me, I was always small, when I was in the under-18s I played most under-16s games because a lot of people were bigger than me, but it didn’t faze me.
“I always worked hard, I always stayed behind, always did the right thing. I think it’s just working hard and sticking to the plan, but sometimes you go off course.
“I went on loan, I had to battle there and fight for my place when I came back to United. I got injured on my debut so I was out for six months, so I’ve had a lot of setbacks.
“But if you keep fighting, work hard and keep believing, your dreams will come true.”