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    Erik ten Hag reveals secret behind Scott McTominay’s goal rush

    Erik ten Hag credited Scott McTominay’s “smell” for goal after the Scotland international struck twice in Manchester United’s crucial 2-1 win against Chelsea on Wednesday night.

    McTominay netted two goals either side of Cole Palmer’s equaliser – taking his Premier League tally to an individual season best of five already for the campaign – to help the Red Devils climb up to sixth, just three points behind local rivals Manchester City.

    Speaking after the game, Ten Hag said: “He has the skills. When he is arriving, he has the skills to arrive in the right moment, he has the smell and then it is a very good finish.

    “Talking about the dynamics, sometimes he is deep, sometimes he is lower, but in our tactics and planning, our game plan is often that we want him to be high. So the team has to make it happen that he can go high, that he can come into positions where he is around a striker and then he can make runs.

    “He has a very good smell when to arrive and then he has also a very good finish and the team has to make sure we bring the ball with him.

    “It’s not hard, it’s a matter of organisation, so we have to get the players in the right positions and that is our job to get him and it means other players have to play deeper and bring them in their best skills.

    “And it’s all about getting individuals in the right positions on the pitch and that you make use from their skills and attributes.”

    Erik ten Hag

    Ten Hag earned another much-needed win / Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

    Injuries to the likes of Casemiro, Christian Eriksen and Mason Mount have cleared McTominay’s route to United‘s starting XI in recent weeks and he partnered Sofyan Amrabat in central midfield on Wednesday night.

    Bruno Fernandes got things off to a tense start as he saw an early penalty saved by Robert Sanchez. The Portugal international’s blushes were spared by McTominay, who controlled well to score his first in the 19th minute before heading in Alejandro Garnacho’s cross midway through the second half.

    The 26-year-old is now the Red Devils’ leading league goalscorer this season, ahead of usual threats Bruno Fernandes (three) and Marcus Rashford (two) and summer signing Rasmus Hojlund (nil).

    McTominay also played a crucial role in Scotland’s charge to Euro 2024 qualification, netting seven times.

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