Scott McTominay has said he wants to be a leader at Manchester United, despite his relative inexperience compared to the other names in the midfield.
The Scotland international was elevated to the first team by Jose Mourinho, but appeared not to be trusted by new manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after he replaced the Portuguese in December.
McTominay found himself back in the first team at Old Trafford through injury and knew he would have to prove himself to his new boss, something he believes he has achieved.
“The manager has been so good with me,” the 22-year-old told The National after a pre-season win over Kristiansund in Oslo.
“I had to be patient at the beginning. I had to show him that I could be a Manchester United player and for him to trust me in big games but I feel I did that last year.
“Where I want to get to is being that player in the team where you’re a leader, you’re the one telling people. You’re driving the standards.”
He added: “There’s a lot of things I know I can improve on. I’m constantly working. I don’t want to sit on games that I’ve played, I want to get to the next level.”
McTominay’s promotion to the first XI under Solskjaer coincided with a poor run of results that saw the Red Devils slip out of Champions League contention, finally finishing sixth in the Premier League.
The young midfielder was a rare bright spark in the gloom at Old Trafford, but he said his performances did not supplant the disappointment he felt with his team's results.
The nadir for McTominay and United was a 4-0 reverse to Everton at Goodison Park, but he says pre-season performances have put him in a positive mood ahead of the 2019-20 campaign.
“It was a difficult season, we have to put it behind us,” he added.
“After Everton away I came home and I was nearly in tears. It was so difficult to handle.
“I’ve really enjoyed this pre-season. It has been different, we have put a lot more work in.
“I feel that the boys have taken to it well and in the games that we’ve had we’ve shown glimpses of what we can do, with the expansive attacking football.
“I’m definitely fitter than I’ve ever been. I feel fresh and ready to go, to compete for a place in the first XI.”
United open their Premier League season at home against Chelsea on August 11.