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Whelan: What McTominay's been telling me

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Adam Marshall

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The young Yorkshireman is close friends with McTominay, who started in the first team's 2-2 draw at Southampton last weekend and was on the bench against Arsenal, after coming through the ranks at United.

It means Whelan is perfectly placed to receive words of encouragement and help from his pal as he looks forward to our next Premier League 2 action, at home to Middlesbrough at Leigh Sports Village this Friday night (19:00 GMT, live on MUTV). 

Callum Whelan is making strides in Ricky Sbragia's side.

“I’ve lived with Scott for four or five years, so he gets me eating right and working hard,“ the 20-year-old told us. ”He’s just great because he’s been here since he was eight and, looking where he is now, it's where you want to be. He’s helped me out a lot.

“It's a tough pathway [to the first team] but, if you work hard enough, like Scott has, it's there. You'll get your rewards and be there like Scott. He tells me to work hard every day, eat well, rest, recover. If you give it your best, then who knows what happens?”

McTominay sounds like the perfect housemate given he is honing Callum's culinary skills!

“It’s all green, the food that Scott cooks!” revealed Whelan. “I can’t cook yet and he’s just started so, at the minute, it’s just fish and greens [that he makes for us].

”He’s a nice guy and he's also a lot funnier than people see. We get on well and he’s great to live with.“

McTominay showed his versatility by playing in defence at Southampton.

As for life on the pitch, Whelan often sits in front of the defence and uses his calmness on the ball and passing skills to initiate attacks. He was unlucky not to score in the Reds' last Premier League 2 outing, when he hit the woodwork during the 1-1 draw at West Bromwich Albion.

Had his effort at The Hawthorns gone in, it would have given Whelan his first competitive goal since the FA Youth Cup win over QPR in December 2015, when Marcus Rashford - just two months away from making his first-team debut - grabbed the winner.

“I don’t think I’ve scored for about four years!” confessed Callum, with a laugh. “When you’re younger, you play in a lot of different positions but now I’ve come to this age, I want to be the deeper one who starts the attacks. So I’ll set them up, not score them!

Callum Whelan in action against Newcastle in Premier League 2.

“I’ve always been a midfielder, but I didn't know what type I wanted to be when I was younger. Higher, deeper, box to box... sometimes you change but I’ve always been around the midfield.

”I used to watch Paul Scholes and Michael Carrick and saw they never lost the ball. It was good to watch the positions they picked up and their receiving skills, those are the kind of things I watched with those two.“

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Adam Marshall

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