FOOTBALL NEWS

16/08/2013 07:36, Report by Gemma Thompson
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Reds ready for Swansea

Chris Smalling says Saturday’s Barclays Premier League opener cannot come soon enough for the champions.

The Reds kick off the defence of the title at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday tea-time having already claimed the first trophy of the season last weekend at Wembley in the 2-0 Community Shield win over Wigan.

The match was United’s eighth of pre-season and the perfect way for David Moyes to begin his reign as Reds’ boss.

Smalling says the squad were buoyed by the victory but admits the majority of the team’s focus has been geared towards being ready for Saturday’s season opener.

“The Swansea game has been in our minds for a while,” he told ManUtd.com. “We saw Sunday as an important build-up to it, and after the internationals [in midweek] we’re firing and ready to go. I can’t wait for that first whistle.

“Going into the season as champions brings that expectation. We know that when we step out onto the pitch we’re seen as the best but we know we need to show that we are, and we’re all determined to do that.

“We’ve got some big fixtures at the start of the season but if we can put on some really good performances then it’s going to give us a big boost if we can pick up a few points and possibly set us apart from our rivals. I don’t think there is any better time to play those big games to be honest and in one sense it’s good to get them out of the way.”

Smalling hopes to be fully involved at the start of the campaign after enjoying an injury-free pre-season.

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