Smalling expects more chances

08 August 2011 03:39
Manchester United defender Chris Smalling expects Sir Alex Ferguson to give the club's youngsters plenty of game time this season.[LNB] A youthful-looking United side gave an early indication of their potential with a thrilling 3-2 victory over Manchester City in the Community Shield at Wembley on Sunday.[LNB]Defender Smalling, 21, new goalkeeper David de Gea, 20, and 20-year-old striker Danny Welbeck, who is back from a loan spell at Sunderland, all started.[LNB]New signing Phil Jones, 19, and 21-year-old Tom Cleverley, who spent last season with Wigan, also featured in the second half.[LNB]Ferguson is renowned for his ability to continually renew his side and now looks to be bringing in a new generation following the recent retirements of Gary Neville, Paul Scholes and Edwin van der Sar.[LNB]Smalling, who scored the goal which sparked United's winning comeback from 2-0 down, said: "The manager said the young players will get a chance this season.[LNB]"At half-time in a big game like this you could see the young players step up. Hopefully that can carry on all season.[LNB]"I think we could go from strength to strength.[LNB]"Quite a few people feel like they have got a fresh start. They have been out on loan and are making a big step.[LNB]"The manager has given them a chance in pre-season. You can see these players are good enough and hopefully they will get more chances."[LNB]Smalling is now in his second season at Old Trafford following his move from Fulham.[LNB]He remains behind Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic in the pecking order for centre-half berths but his performance at right-back against City underlined his versatility and value.[LNB]He said: "This year the aim is to really kick on and play more.[LNB]"Hopefully I can start to get some more games at centre-back. But if the manager feels that I can play the odd game at right-back then I'll help if I can contribute."[LNB]City trailed at the break after Joleon Lescott and Edin Dzeko struck in a torrid six-minute spell for De Gea.[LNB]United upped the tempo after the restart and Smalling diverted in an Ashley Young free-kick before they levelled with a sublime goal from Nani.[LNB]Portugal winger Nani claimed the winner in injury time after robbing Vincent Kompany near the halfway line.[LNB]Smalling added: "We weren't too down at half-time. In the first half an hour we thought we played the better football but then City were a lot more clinical in taking their two goals.[LNB]"It was a bit of a sucker punch but we worked on moving the ball quick, getting on the turn and playing the forward ball.[LNB]"Luckily we took those chances when they came.[LNB]"It's been a while since I scored and, obviously, that was at Scunthorpe so this is a completely different arena.[LNB]"Just in terms of gambling, the manager said they played the zonal (defence).[LNB]"Ash has been whipping in some great balls all pre-season so it's down to us to get on the end of them."[LNB]Smalling is also confident De Gea will bounce back from his difficult debut.[LNB]The Spaniard, signed from Atletico Madrid for £18million this summer, failed to come for the free-kick which Lescott glanced in and was then beaten from distance by a low Dzeko shot.[LNB]Smalling said: "He'll learn from things like that and he made some good saves early in the second half.[LNB]"So it's good to see that he's not going to be down and out about it.[LNB]"He got up and made some really good saves."[LNB]Jones, another of United's recent arrivals after a £16million move from Blackburn, already feels at home with the champions and is looking forward to the start of the Premier League.[LNB]United begin their title defence with a trip to West Brom on Sunday.[LNB]Jones said: "I have settled in well, the lads have made me feel welcome and I am enjoying it.[LNB]"It was a good workout before the start of the season next week.[LNB]"Hopefully the lads will come back from international duty fresh and we can kick off the season in style.[LNB]"We are looking forward to it and hopefully we can get three points."

Source: Team_Talk