“It was a really frustrating time for me, especially over the summer when I had to work hard while the lads were on pre-season, and then had a breakdown again,” Smalling admitted.
“I had been looking at this period of October and November for being able to come back and make an impact. I’ve been able to train over this last week or so and I feel ready.
“I’m hoping I can stay away from injuries now because I think I’m due that. I had a clash of heads during the match but I was fine after about five minutes.
“I feel good after playing the game, so bring on Saturday.”
“Watching the Champions League games from the stands was frustrating for me, so it was good to be back out there - and good to be back with a win."
- Chris Smalling