The young defender's season has been blighted by injury so far, yet he's still managed to make 18 appearances for the first-team.
"No matter whether you are young or old you want to play in as many games as you can," he said. "Luckily we are going well in all competitions. But when you get your chance, you need to take it. You don't give the manager an excuse to leave you out.
"It helps that we are in three competitions. It keeps everyone happy in that sense."
Squad rotation has long been part of life at Manchester United. And while Smalling admits he'd like to play every game, he's also aware of the system's benefits.
"You're at one of the biggest clubs in the world and the manager needs to do what he does. We are happy at the minute because everyone is getting games. Long may that continue.
"When you are injured you want to play. When you are fit you just want to play every week. But there is a large degree of patience required. You can't get too frustrated."
Chris was speaking to ManUtd.com, Press Association and BBC Radio Manchester.