28/10/2010 08:47, Report by Gemma Thompson
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Smalling eager to excel

alongside both of them and Jonny [Evans] – I’m learning off everyone.

A lot of people, including the boss, say you remind them of a young Rio…
[Smiles] Rio is definitely someone any young centre-back should look up to if they want to become a top player. Along with Tony Adams, he was one of the people I always used to watch growing up – they’re two of England’s greatest ever defenders. All the opportunities I get to train and play with Rio will only help me.

On a personal note, what are your hopes for the rest of the season?
Just to be involved as much as I can and help the team be successful. When I was at Fulham I played about 20 or so games and I’d like to think I could get at least that amount under my belt. I’ve been given a once in a lifetime opportunity and I’m determined to make the most of it.

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Premier League