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Smalling eyeing extended stay
Published : 09 Sep 2011 10:00:18
Smalling enjoyed a stellar first season at Old Trafford following his arrival from Fulham, playing a significant role in the record 19th Premier League title triumph. This season is shaping up to be even better though. Although it is not his preferred position, Smalling started all three league games at right-back as United made a 100% opening to the defence of their crown.
"I don't look too far ahead but I hope I can really get an established career and stay here for the rest of my life," Smalling told Inside United.
"I want to get more and more games as my time goes on because I really feel part of this club. I'm really enjoying my football at the minute. The manager has full faith in me and I want to repay that in the years to come."
Smalling's additional height at full-back should come in handy on Saturday when United head to Bolton.
Although the Trotters are no longer the abrasive opponents of old, Owen Coyle has retained a tough streak to go with the more stylish football and Sir Alex Ferguson will doubtless think carefully before relying on his rookies as he has done to such fabulous effect so far this season.
Goalkeeper David de Gea in particular can look forward to a stern test of his abilities, having looked shaky under the high ball at West Brom last month.
Not that Smalling sees too many problems with someone like Phil Jones, who has also spent the past week on England duty, without getting the chance to make his debut.
"He doesn't take any nonsense and is strong in the air," said Smalling.
"He is good on the ball too and plays some great passes, even in training. You can see glimpses of his talent. I am sure fans will soon appreciate his technical ability and grow to love that aspect of his game as the season goes on."