Manchester United’s almost annual defensive crisis has kicked into full gear once again but Scott Wootton has taken full advantage of it.
The 21-year-old ex-Liverpudlian defender was given his senior debut against Newcastle in the League Cup and made his Champions League bow all within the space of one week.
Speaking to Manutd.com about what has happened, he said:
“The last week or so has been amazing. To make my debut in the League Cup and then to come on and play in the Champions League is a great feeling and it’s something I’m made up with.
“As a young player, obviously you don’t wish injuries on someone, but that’s how you might get your chance and obviously I got mine against Newcastle through injuries, so that’s just the way it is.
“For young players at a lot of top clubs the League Cup is where the managers embed them into the team, so obviously I was delighted with that.
“You want to progress as a footballer and these are the next steps.”
“I don’t think you do anything different from normal games – obviously there are some extra special things like the team talks, coming away with the first team and the fans which are different from what you’re used to, but you just try and concentrate on your football in the same way.” Scott Wootton
For someone who has only just made his debut, Wootton looked impressively assured in both performances. Coming on in the last 20 minutes away in Romania is no mean feat but he done it with a cool head and showed he is ready to be thrown into matches.
With Phil Jones and Nemanja Vidic still to be sidelined for six to eight weeks, Wootton’s rise into the first team squad is precisely the cover we needed. Evans and Ferdinand have both had niggling injuries, so without Wootton’s cover, we would have been stretched beyond our limits and Carrick would have been the likely candidate to fill the void.
Speaking about the transition up to the first team, Scott said:
“The big difference is making sure you’re that extra step quicker in your head and on the floor. I think mainly in your head you’ve got to always concentrate; you can’t switch off for one minute because the quality steps up.
“At each level you go up, the quality and speed of the game increases, so you’ve got to always concentrate and always be on your mark.”
He’s taken his opportunity in the first squad and grasped it firmly with both hands, so expect to see a lot more of Wootton over the next couple of months.