The extracts on this page are taken from selected national newspapers. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of Manchester United.
John Cross writes in The Mirror...
Last season’s title misery is driving Smalling
Manchester United will return to the scene of their most agonising Premier League experience on Saturday when they face Sunderland. It was at the Stadium of Light that United thought they had won last season’s title, only to hear from fans about the drama unfolding at Manchester City, where Sergio Aguero was scoring his dramatic goal that snatched the trophy. And Chris Smalling has admitted the pain United suffered in May has been their driving force this season. The Reds are now riding high and are 15 points ahead of second-placed City, and Smalling's team-mates go back to the Stadium of Light for the first time with those painful memories still fresh in their minds. The England defender said: “It’s motivated us all season, especially when we’ve fallen a goal behind as we’ve been involved in a lot of comebacks. We’ve looked back at last season and don’t want to experience that feeling again, which has shown in the way we’ve played.”
In The Sun, Robin van Persie has hinted that he may finish his career at Old Trafford whilst praising manager Sir Alex Ferguson. The 29-year-old Dutch striker is quoted: “For the next few years I’ll be here. United could be my last club... The coach is one of the friendliest people I have come across in my life. Of course, when he is in the game mode, then he is a warrior.”
Elsewhere, Ian Ladyman of the Daily Mail has conducted an extensive interview with Reds striker Kiko Macheda, currently on loan at Stuttgart, asking if the Italian is a “one-hit-wonder” at the Theatre of Dreams.