A strong line-up and a professional display against Ajax last week dismissed the notion that Sir Alex’s men would not take the competition seriously following the early exit from the Champions League.
Smalling was on the bench for the 2-0 win at the Amsterdam ArenA but Sir Alex has confirmed the defender will return from a three-game absence in the second leg at Old Trafford on Thursday.
And though there are still plenty of tough games ahead, the former Fulham man confirms the Reds' sights are set on a league and European double.
"You only need to look at the teams who are still in the Europa League to realise it’s a competition worth winning," Smalling told Inside United and ManUtd.com.
"I mean, eight of the teams were competing in the Champions League earlier this season and a lot of the others have done so previously. The Europa League is a strong competition and there are plenty of mouth-watering ties in this phase.
"Obviously we’d still like to be in the Champions League but we’re looking at the Europa League as a second chance. We’re going to go out there and show Europe we can still perform and we can still win trophies.
"We want to reach the final, although we know it won’t be easy. All of the players will be going out on the pitch and giving our all to reach the final."
Smalling has already tasted league success in his short United career and admits he’s hungry for more silverware.