Smalling calls on 'loud and crazy' fans to shock Spurs
Tottenham Hotspur may be playing Premier League games at Wembley this season but Manchester United are determined to ensure Saturday's Emirates FA Cup semi-final is nothing like home from home for Mauricio Pochettino's side.
This is the Reds' 51st appearance at the famous stadium so it is hardly a new experience for the club and, despite some suggestions it is unfair a neutral fixture will be staged at Spurs' temporary home, the fact United will be backed by approximately 35,000 fans, far more supporters than were allowed to attend the league match in January can help tip the balance in our favour.
Any advantage for Tottenham is not an issue for defender Chris Smalling, as he explained in an exclusive interview with MUTV, as he anticipates playing in front of the noisy Red Army under the Arch.
Three away goals in a row for SmallingVideo
“It doesn’t really come into our minds,” Smalling asserted.
“Obviously they are used to the pitch, the changing room etc but it’s a totally different scenario when half of the stadium is filled with very loud and crazy United fans.
”I think that’s something they won’t be used to. They are obviously used to the whole stadium backing them, and with our fans being as loud as ever and taking up half the stadium, that will be a bit of a shock for them.
“The fans are going to be crucial because they are the ones who can disrupt them [Tottenham], lift us and you could see how they lifted us up in the derby and many other games, like Crystal Palace recently. They are crucial and being able to fill the stadium with so many United fans is a great opportunity.”
Nemanja Matic has also emphasised the importance of the supporters and the fact they always stick with the team on the road, helping inspire the fabulous comebacks at Crystal Palace and Manchester City.
“Of course, it might be better for Spurs who are used to playing in the stadium this season but we also like to play at Wembley,” he told MUTV.
“The fans are very important because, when they support us for 90 minutes, everything is possible. Like they did against Manchester City, they supported us even when we went 2-0 down and that's why it's very important for us.”