FOOTBALL NEWS

19/03/2013 08:00, Report by Ben Hibbs
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Reds must return focused

“It’s a bigger lead than last year but we can’t rest on our laurels and we want to make sure we finish the job this season.”

Smalling isn’t short of company in the England squad. He is one of six Reds in Roy Hodgson’s ranks alongside Wayne Rooney, Ashley Young, Danny Welbeck, Michael Carrick and Tom Cleverley, while Rio Ferdinand was forced to pull out due to a pre-planned medical and training programme.

Ferdinand's performances could mean he is selected for England in future and Smalling welcomes more familiar faces in the England fold.

“All through the season it has started to pick up in terms of how many United players are in the squad,” Smalling added. “With Phil coming back there could be eight of us. That’s good to keep people around you that you know.”

More: Vidic: Break is good for me | Rio out of England squad

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Don't lose focus

“The 15-point lead looks good now. But we go away to join up with our national teams and hopefully everyone can come back fit because we then have two big games against Sunderland and Chelsea."

- Chris Smalling

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