August 26, 2022, and halftime of a game that will end 1-1 and be remembered for Oli McBurnie breaking his long goalless streak and igniting a serious run of form. McAtee had a quiet first half in only his second league start as a senior..
McAtee is not among the players who return for the second half. A stint as a substitute follows as the youngster adjusts to life in the professional game during his first senior loan.
McAtee’s situation has improved in just over three months.
Last time out, an impressive performance off the bench at Cardiff City was capped by an assist for George Baldock’s winner, and he appears to be a young man more confident in both his role and himself.
Going back to the Luton game, I think that was a bit of a wake-up call for me,” McAtee admitted ahead of this weekend’s match at Bramall Lane against Huddersfield Town. “I was a little dazzled and perplexed by what was going on.” But I feel like I’ve been getting stronger and more used to the speed, and I’m hoping that I can now kick on..
I’ve talked to the manager, Jack Lester, and Macca [Stuart McCall] about adding more numbers to my game. Assists and goals There are many things I want to improve, so there have been numerous conversations..
Hecky has been coaching me, and I’ve learned things that I hadn’t learned before. It’s always been that way at City. It was unexpected at first, but I’m learning more about my role off the field. I just want to start adding numbers and taking more risks in order to be more creative..
McAtee can take inspiration from teammate and friend Iliman Ndiaye, the young Senegal international who is playing with a refreshing freedom and ability that has taken him all the way to this winter’s World Cup in Qatar. “We were just talking about how he found it, and I’m really jealous.”
He’s living his fantasy. He smiled as he remembered one of his childhood dreams. Everyone is happy for him and proud of him. That’s my dream as well, so if I could appear in a World Cup one day, I’d be happy. “Perhaps one day..
More pressing is Saturday’s game, and the need for United to pick up where they left off against a team that travels the short distance across Yorkshire at the bottom of the Championship table.
“The majority of the injured lads are back in training,” England U21 international McAtee said, “so we’re looking forward to being back at full strength and seeing if we can go again in the second half of the season..