Chris Smalling has his sights set on another personal milestone as he prepares for Saturday’s Premier League clash at Chelsea.
The Manchester United defender recently made his 200th appearance in the division but he is aware that he is currently on 295 outings for the Reds, since arriving from Fulham in 2010. With a landmark occasion on the horizon, he may be primarily concerned with gaining three points in the capital, but the defender appreciates the opportunity to enjoy such a lengthy stay at Old Trafford.
”When it comes about, like the 200th Premier League game, you have a few days and it’s nice to enjoy that moment,” he told MUTV.
“Normally there are so many games but it’s nice to achieve things and looking to the next target to hit.
”My brother pointed it out in the programme [300 United matches getting closer] not so long ago. Building up to it, you look at the games potentially coming up and when it might be. It’s a great achievement for myself and I’ll look to build on that.
“It’s very rare these days as players are chopping and changing clubs and there is always demand for new players to come in. So when you do reach an achievement, 200 or 300 games, it really means a lot.”
Smalling is under no illusions that Chelsea will be formidable opponents at Stamford Bridge, a venue that has not been a happy hunting ground of late for the Reds.
”Last year, they disappointed but I always saw them as a team that would be there or thereabouts,” he said.
“I expected them to be up there and they’ve started well.
”It’s a tough place to go. It’s very hard to get the results you want and you’re always in for a tough game. Obviously, we’ve dropped points against the so-called smaller teams so it’s now about the need to get some points off our rivals.”