Diogo Dalot believes Scott McTominay’s match-winning mentality is the standard all players at Manchester United need to meet following the Scot’s late, late show at Aston Villa.
McTominay was sent on in place of Marcus Rashford in the second half at Villa Park and four minutes from time he delivered the knockout blow by heading in Dalot’s brilliant cross.
It marked McTominay’s seventh goal of the season and his fourth off the bench.
His insatiable appetite to be the matchwinner, whether he starts or comes off the bench, is something team-mates can learn from, claims Dalot.
‘I think every time he comes on the pitch, he has that mentality of trying to score goals and trying to help the team,’ Dalot said.
Diogo Dalot (left) wants Man United’s stars to channel Scott McTominay’s (right) mentality
McTominay came on as a second-half substitute and headed Manchester United to a 2-1 win
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‘We need this type of mentality at this club, and I think he is the perfect person to show this season that even coming from the bench, he always has a good impact.’
McTominay himself said he doesn’t take being benched ‘personally’, having not started in the Premier League since defeat at West Ham on December 23.
He looked to be heading for the exit in the summer, with West Ham among the suitors, but he has reinvented himself in a more attacking cameo role.
‘There are not many players who can come from the bench and bring this energy and contribute to the team,’ boss Erik ten Hag said.
‘Scott is an example for many other players, always giving the spirit and always doing the right things. He is ready for one minute or for minute 90, he is always ready. It is great to have such a player.’
The Scot (bottom) now has seven Premier League goals this season, with four from the bench
Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag hailed him as an ‘example’ for other players to follow
Victory saw United close the gap on fifth-placed Aston Villa to just five points and with all the momentum they are now being backed to finish inside the top four.
But for Dalot, there is little interest in a ‘favourites’ tag for the top four in early February.
‘I think it is a really important win,’ the Portuguese full-back added.
‘We knew that today was like a final for us; pretty much every game will be for us now if we want to get top four.
‘We prepared well, and I am very happy with the way we performed and how we fought until the end to get the win.’