Smalling: We had to stand tall and deliver
Chris Smalling has spoken of Manchester United's determination to rise above any recent criticism when the team stepped out at Burnley on Sunday and he says everyone was delighted to come away with a deserved three points and clean sheet.
Smalling was part of what Jose Mourinho described as “crucial triangle” in the 2-0 victory, along with central defensive partner Victor Lindelof and Marouane Fellaini, who sat just in front of the back four.
On the back of two very disappointing results against Brighton and Tottenham, Smalling revealed the team had worked hard on tactical play ahead of the Turf Moor clash and the players were pleased with how everything came together, even though he admits the Reds could have scored more.
“We had a lot of chances in both halves and if it had been five or six I don’t think anyone could have argued. The good thing is we’re getting those chances, similar to the last game, and hopefully we can continue to score them,” Smalling told MUTV.
“With us not having a game in the week, we’d been able to work on a lot of patterns of play and you could see them coming out and finishing with the goals, so we were happy with that.
“We deserved a clean sheet and going down to 10 men makes it that bit more difficult. Last season we picked up a lot of clean sheets and this year we’ve conceded early goals. We need to get back what we’ve done in the last few seasons when we’ve conceded very few goals, like on Sunday.
“United is an easy topic of conversation for all fans and it’s not often that we go into games off the back of two defeats,” added Chris. “It was down to us players to stand up tall and get a result, and we’re very happy with the win.”
The 28-year-old also thanked the United fans for another incredible show of support throughout the afternoon at Turf Moor.
“Right from the warm-up they didn’t stop singing,” declared Smalling. “They travel so far and all over the place to cheer us on and we wanted to give them that win that they deserve.”