Wembley

Next Game

England v Lithuania

Friday, 27 March 2015, 19:45

European Qualifiers Group E

Celtic Park

Last Game

Scotland 1 - 3 England

Tuesday, 18 November 2014, 20:00

International Match

Smalling eyes central role

Chris Smalling is targeting a starting centre-back role with club and country after keeping a clean sheet on his World Cup debut for England against Costa Rica on Tuesday.

Last Updated: 29/06/14 at 09:25 Post Comment

Chris Smalling: Made World Cup debut against Costa Rica

Chris Smalling: Made World Cup debut against Costa Rica

Smalling was one of nine World Cup debutants for England as Roy Hodgson’s side ended their campaign in Brazil with a 0-0 draw against the eventual Group D winners in Belo Horizonte.

And the 24-year-old, now in his fifth season at Old Trafford, is keen to impress new manager Louis van Gaal and establish himself as a first-choice central defender for United and England.

"It's the end of the season so obviously we will go on a break and next season I will look to really kick on and cement my position," Smalling said.

"Roy knows that I am a centre-back and I really want to cement it and be that number one.

"I feel that if I get my chance like I did today, I can go out there and deliver.

"Hopefully if I can go back to my club in the summer and really cement it, I can hopefully cement it for England as well. I am ready for this chance and it is about time I took it."

England finished bottom of Group D on one point following 2-1 defeats in their first two World Cup matches against Italy and Uruguay respectively.  

Despite a disappointing campaign overall, Hodgson’s side were given a standing ovation from the England faithful after Tuesday’s match and Smalling was delighted by their reaction.

"It was a really touching moment that they were really right behind us at the end," he said.

"Even when we got to the hotel in Belo Horizonte, they were cheering us all the way despite the disappointment.

"You could accept it if they turned on us but they didn't - they have been terrific all the way through, it was great to see and it will drive us on for next time to make sure we deliver."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

W

e'll be fine, no problem. If they do get relegated, he's definitely going to ask how anyone could ever have thought that Villa were going to be fine given their problems before he came.

treeman1
Premier League Winners And Losers

S

toke though. Hmn. I don't think it was defending that made people dislike Stoke so much as the out and out cheating/nastiness they regularly displayed. That, and they kept buying the odd flair player and then ruining them (Oh! Tuncay, what were you thinking?).

megabrow (cufc)
Being Defensive About Being Defensive...

W

ell that really inspires me with confidence. No point in training, deciding on a coherent formation, or playing players in their best positions, let's just hope we get lucky.

mumbo_jimbo
Van Gaal: Luck is key

Footer 365

Manchester United winger Di Maria was 'too ugly' for Real Madrid

Former Barcelona coach claims Real Madrid sold Angel Di Maria to Manchester United because he was 'too ugly' for them.

Adam Johnson arrested

Adam Johnson arrested on suspicion of sexual activity with a girl under 16.

West Brom boss Pulis to talk to Sessegnon about diving

West Brom boss Tony Pulis will talk to Stephane Sessegnon about diving after the forward was booked for simulation.

Mail Box

Henderson The Best Midfielder In PL?

Jordan Henderson is named by two afternoon Mailboxers as the PL's best midfielder, while another suggests Man United are trying to emulate Barca...

Jose Settles Most Boring Team Debate...

There's lots of reaction to Chelsea and Liverpool's wins on Sunday, plus one Mailboxer asking: Who is the Premier League's best midfielder?

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company