Chris Smalling during a home match with arms aloft

Smalling: I'll be proud to join United's 300 club

If Chris Smalling plays a part during this weekend's Premier League match with Everton, he will become just the 59th player in the club's 140-year history to make 300 appearances.

We spoke to Chris during the recent international break to discuss his eight years in M16 so far and what makes Manchester United so special. The full interview will appear in Sunday's United Review, the matchday programme at Old Trafford...
“The sheer size of the club... it's a club that's always used to winning trophies and being successful, and is probably the most talked about club in the world. To be able to play your part is an amazing feeling. You see ex-players like Rio [Ferdinand] talking in Twitter videos, and often he's coming to our games if he's doing his punditry, and you can tell that this club is definitely still his club. That's how I think I'm always going to feel, because this club has been such a big part of my career, and I hope it is for as long as it's possible.”
“It's hard to sit back and just go through your whole career, because everything's always moving so fast. But the odd milestone is always a nice moment, and when you look at the previous players to have hit those kind of milestones, it's nice to be in that company. There are some big names [to have played 300 games]. Just to be able to be at a club like Manchester United for so long... when I first joined, you never know how it's going to turn out. It makes me very proud that a club like Manchester United have wanted me to be here as long as I have been.”


“Old Trafford... that's what really gets the hairs on the back of our necks up. It's a great feeling to play here. You can be in the 80th minute and you could be tired, but when you hear that crowd you almost feel fully re-energised. Obviously we have a huge stadium, and when we're playing well and the fans are up, like they were against Newcastle, you can see the proof: a team like Newcastle can just wilt because they can't stand the pressure. That's the cauldron we need to create more often with our performances.”
Chris and Luke Shaw applaud the Stretford End after the 3-2 win at Newcastle.
“Our away fans are fantastic as well. We can go away to so many different stadiums and have such a small section, but they're often the loudest. No matter the result, they're singing - whether we're a goal up or a goal down. Travelling away as an away fan, you have to take so much time off, and there are so many travel commitments. It's a massive credit to them that they come and travel, not just in this country but all over the world.”
“Being able to score right in front of our fans in the Manchester derby... it's going to be very hard to beat that moment. You can win a trophy, but in the heat of that moment, scoring the winner was such an amazing feeling. There was a bit of everything in there. Everyone was talking about them winning the title that day, it was my mistake for their first goal as well, plus the fact we needed the win. For it all to come into one moment... it's just something that you'll remember forever.”

Smalling's memorable derby dayVideo

“Maybe my first title [2010/11 season]. Joining a club of such big stature and trying to make my mark was very daunting, but it was something I enjoyed. I played a lot more games [33] in that first season than I could even have thought of. To be able to play my part in my first trophy - I can remember lifting it in the middle of the pitch and I had all my family there. That just really got me hungry for more.”
You can read the full interview with Chris in the Everton issue of United Review.