Ralf Rangnick heaped praise on Scott McTominay after he scored the winner to send Manchester United through to the FA Cup fourth round, where they will face Middlesbrough
Rangnick is delighted McTominay is adding attacking contributions to his combative displays and believes he also possesses the leadership ability to become United club captain in the future.
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“He is an academy boy, his energy is amazing,” he told BBC Sport of McTominay after the match.
“He now also starts scoring goals and also with some leadership skills. I wouldn’t be surprised if in a couple of years he would be the captain of this team.”
While McTominay chipped in with the all-important goal, United were arguably fortunate to avoid conceding during one of Villa’s many sweeping attacks.
David de Gea was kept busy throughout the match as Ollie Watkins and Danny Ings – both of whom saw goals ruled out for offside – posed a constant threat.
“We have to develop the team into a clean sheet team and that was another one today but still David de Gea was outstanding again for me today,” Rangnick said.
“I would have wanted him to have less saves in total, I think we had four or five shots on goal but again we can still improve even in that area.”
The interim boss added: “In the second half we were on the counter-attack and we could have made more of those situations.
“We took the wrong decisions at times but when we changed to a diamond in midfield we had more control.”
Emphasising just how open a game it was at Old Trafford, Rangnick admitted the scoreline could have been very different at half-time.
“I think we showed a reaction after the Wolves game, that is what everyone expected from us,” Rangnick said.
“We knew it would be very difficult against Villa. In the first half I thought we did well. It could have been 3-2 or 4-3 to us at half-time.”