Scott McTominay admits Manchester United’s stars have to accept their share of the blame for the club’s slump last season which has ‘touched a nerve’ among the squad.
A hugely disappointing campaign cost Ole Gunnar Solskjaer his job at Old Trafford, and ended with six defeats in the last 10 games as interim boss Ralf Rangnick struggled to turn it around.
McTominay accepts the players shouldn’t escape criticism for United’s worst season in the Premier League era as they look to bounce back under new manager Erik ten Hag.
‘You’re playing for Man United, you’re going to get criticised,’ said McTominay.
‘If you think you’re going to come and play for Man United and you’re not going to get a little bit of criticism here and there, then you’re in the wrong job because that’s just not how it works at this football club.
‘Maybe you need to have a little look in the mirror because that’s just part and parcel of the game. Everyone gets criticised, that’s the world we live in. Social media criticism: you only see it how much you want see it. That’s part and parcel of it as well.
‘It’s obviously difficult to speak about that last season. It touched a nerve in terms of when we speak about it again as a group.
‘It’s not nice and that’s got to be the motivation now to put everything back to normal and go for trophies again under the new boss, because I know that this squad is more than capable of doing that.’
McTominay was speaking at the MCG where United beat Melbourne Victory 4-1 on Friday to register back-to-back wins on tour following their 4-0 demolition of Liverpool in Bangkok.
Ten Hag is living up to his reputation as a hard taskmaster, but the players are buying into his philosophy and so far it is paying off.
McTominay added: ‘The manager’s standards are high so you’ve got to get used to that, which is maybe a little bit foreign for some players. They’ve got to make sure that everything that they do on and off the pitch is to the best of their ability.
‘He’s very clear in meetings what he wants us to do and how he wants us to approach the games as well. Obviously for us it’s important that you take that message on board.
‘The way he reads the game of football and the amount of knowledge he has about a game of football, we can take so much from him.
‘We’ve had some tough pre-seasons but this is up there with one of the most difficult ones. But it’s accumulation, it’s getting miles in the legs and it’s getting everybody accustomed to the volume of work that we’re wanting to do.
‘That’s probably most important in terms of coming towards the start of the season, that we’ve got a team that’s fit and flying, and a young team as well may I say.’