Smalling: Onus on players

Chris Smalling is aware Manchester United must start winning games in their fight to overhaul Liverpool for UEFA Champions League qualification.

Last Updated: 03/02/14 at 08:24 Post Comment

Chris Smalling: Manchester United defender wants to catch Liverpool

Chris Smalling: Manchester United defender wants to catch Liverpool

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

The reigning Premier League champions slipped to an eighth defeat of the season on Saturday following a 2-1 reverse at Stoke City and trail leaders Arsenal by 15 points.

With the title seemingly beyond United, the priority now is likely to be claiming fourth place and making up a seven-point gap on old rivals Liverpool.

Smalling has acknowledged the onus is now on United and has called on the players to stick together following a fifth loss in eight games in all competitions in 2014.

"We've got to go into it as if we need to win every game," said Smalling. "We're the ones who have to catch Liverpool.

"So we've got to win the points and put the pressure on them. We've not done ourselves any favours with losses like this.

"It seems as if we are taking one step forward and then one back. But we need to stick together and really get into the next game because time is running out to pick up these points.

"It is only us players who can really get us out of this muddle and so we really need to stick together.

"We don't really talk about the Champions League, but I think we all know that's the minimum we need to aim for."

Smalling is also hoping United's luck starts to turn after fellow defenders Jonny Evans and Phil Jones went off injured in the first half at the Britannia Stadium, and Stoke took the lead through Charlie Adam's deflected free-kick.

The England international added: "You get injuries, you get certain decisions against you, you get deflections. I guess it's how the game goes.

"There have been a few deflected goals this year which have really not been down to us. Hopefully it will turn in time because we are due some good fortune.

"It was massively frustrating. We played quite well for large parts of the game. On another day the chances we had might have gone in.

"We pressed for the whole second half, we had a lot of the ball but it wasn't going for us."

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

cant help but feel he has his face on inside out. I'm not a violent man but I don't think I would ever tire of punching it.

dryice
Chelsea reject blames fee

E

verytime I go into KFC I boooooooooooo Norman. Judas. It was the lure of the fresh hand wipes apparently.

cheshire-gooner
Cole explains Arsenal 'snub'

Y

ou probably find he was physically ill when he found out they werent paying him to come to the celebrations.

sodoff
Cole explains Arsenal 'snub'

Footer 365

Everton progress a 'satisfying achievement', says boss Roberto Martinez

Roberto Martinez admitted his surprise at Everton being the last British club left in the Europa League.

Liverpool lose to Besiktas 5-4 on penalties after Turkish side win round-of-32 second leg 1-0

Liverpool crashed out of the Europa League as Dejan Lovren missed the decisive penalty in a 5-4 shoot-out defeat by Besiktas.

Oldham 'would welcome Scholes'

Stand-in boss Dean Holden insists he would not be surprised if Oldham managed to lure Paul Scholes into management.

Mail Box

Greatest Spaniards And Arsenal Laughs

There's more debate on the greatest Spaniards in the afternoon mailbox, plus plenty more reaction to Arsenal's Champions League defeat.

Arsenal Mess It Up, As Inevitable As Ever

Unsurprisingly, there's a great deal of fall out after Arsenal's latest shambles against Monaco. Plus how Football365 went too early with the phrase 'peak Arsenal'...

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