McTominay was forwarded as a player who has thrived due to his mentality, while Will Keane, the spearhead of the club’s last FA Youth Cup-winning side in 2011, has proved his resolve in bouncing back from a string of injury setbacks to clinch promotion with Wigan Athletic to the Championship as the leading scorer in League One.
“There are hundreds of players you can name,” stressed Joyce. “I wouldn’t talk about a Manchester United player. You know I look at the first-team players at Forest – Brennan Johnson, Yatesy [Ryan Yates], Joe Worrall. They are top people, top professionals who conduct themselves really well. They’ve got talent as well.
“Scott McTominay is not just a worker. He’s got talent as well. You can’t just be a worker to play for Manchester United. They’ve got talent as well and those things that I said, those characteristics are evident in the Nottingham Forest first team this season, the culture the manager has created is fantastic. They’ve got that in abundance, those type of people throughout the football club.
“For Will, it’s fantastic for him. You know the troubles he’s had. I actually bumped into him on holiday last year and was talking with him. To come through and have the mental toughness to come through when he could look and think: ‘What if?’ And certainly, at one stage, he was regarded really highly in the England set-up.
“But tough things happen to everybody in their life so it’s how you adjust and adapt and make things go right for yourself. It’s a tremendous effort for him and I’m delighted with what he has achieved this season.”