Chris Smalling admits he is hurting because Manchester United are not competing at the top of the Barclays Premier League table.
Unusually for April, the Reds had a weekend off, due to scheduled league opponents Hull City being involved in the FA Cup semi-finals. Smalling and his team-mates could therefore only sit back and watch as rivals Liverpool and Manchester City played each other in a potentially pivotal match for the title race.
Interviewed in the current issue of Inside United, Smalling admits he has been frustrated by the Reds' inconsistent form and has vowed that the club will bounce back stronger from a difficult season.
"It's a strange feeling for a lot of us to be in the position that we find ourselves in," he said. "Even before I joined, and since I've been here, we've always been competing at the top of the league.
"Whenever we've made progress this season, we've not followed it up in the next two or three games, which has been disappointing. That has hurt us. I know how much the fans are hurting and we're
"You learn that you can't take what has happened in previous years for granted.
"I think this experience will help us make sure we never let this happen again."
Chris Smalling: Exclusive interview in the May edition of Inside United, the official Manchester United magazine.