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15/02/2011 11:00

Papers: Rio's Small talk

Neil Custis writes in The Sun

Rio extends words of wisdom to Smalling
Chris Smalling has revealed how a pep talk from Rio Ferdinand helped him keep Carlos Tevez shackled in the Manchester derby. City looked to exploit the inexperienced Smalling as he replaced crocked Ferdinand in United’s 2-1 win on Saturday. But the defender, who joined the Red Devils for £10million from Fulham last July, turned in a huge display to deny Tevez. Smalling, 21, said: “I was talking to Rio on Friday and he was giving me little pointers. He has played with and against Tevez and seen him in training. He was making the point Carlos likes to feel the defenders at his back. So you let him have his touch before you move in and go for him. To have that knowledge to tap into is incredible. It is great to have that pre-match advice but you cannot beat first-hand experience.”

The Guardian claims Liverpool striker Andy Carroll is on target to recover from a thigh injury in time to face United at Anfield on Sunday 6 March. Carroll is yet to feature for Kenny Dalglish’s side since signing from Newcastle for £35million on the last day of the January transfer window.

Elsewhere, The Independent features the newly-published schedule for the 2012 Olympics in London. Old Trafford will host nine matches in the football competition, which starts on 25 July – two days before the opening ceremony.

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