Manchester United's Scott McTominay challenges Liverpool's Roberto Firmino. Photo: Reuters/Jason Cairnduff

MANCHESTER - Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay has thanked Jose Mourinho for playing him in big matches this season and says the Portuguese manager's trust has played an important part in his development.

The 21-year-old United academy graduate has made eight Premier League appearances since breaking into the first team and earned plaudits for assured displays against Liverpool and Chelsea.

"Obviously, there are numerous different factors that have contributed in terms of my development but the main one is Jose Mourinho," McTominay told the club's website (www.manutd.com).

"He's had the faith to put me in for important matches and trusted me in big games. So all credit goes to him. If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't have had chances to play and show people I'm hopefully capable of being a United player in the future."

Mourinho said in January after the signing of Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal that the club would still give youngsters their fair share of opportunities.

"There's nothing better for me than being selected in the big games. It's good to be trusted by the manager. I hope to repay him as he's done really well to push me forward," McTominay added.

His performances have not gone unnoticed by Scotland boss Alex McLeish, who picked McTominay for international friendlies against Costa Rica and Hungary next week.

United take on Brighton and Hove Albion in the FA Cup quarter-finals on Saturday.

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