FOOTBALL NEWS

In Tuesday's programme...

Sir Alex: The boss on Rooney and the challenge posed by McCarthy's men

Chris Smalling: Defender aims to make most of 'once in a lifetime' chance

Brothers in Arms: United's fraternal connections come under the spotlight

Denis Irwin: Ex-full-back on the season so far for both his former clubs

Andy Gray: Sky Sports' top pundit previews the clash at Old Trafford

Plus: United Family, Paddy Crerand on Rooney, Alex Dawson and much more
26/10/2010 07:40, Report by Gemma Thompson
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Cup there for the taking

Chris Smalling says the early exit of a host of the Premier League big guns from the Carling Cup has given the Reds a major boost as they look to secure a historic hat-trick of victories.

United have won the competition for the last two seasons and, with Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool all having bowed out in round three, are big favourites to triumph once more.

"There's definitely a sense of the cup being there for the taking when you look at the teams that have gone out," Smalling told United Review.

"When we got back on the coach at Scunthorpe we couldn’t believe City and Chelsea had gone out and we watched Liverpool lose on penalties [to Northampton Town]. We all sense there’s a good opportunity to win the trophy and that’s our aim."

The young defender fired his first United goal in the last round at Scunthorpe as the Reds came from behind to book their spot in Tuesday night's fourth round

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