Smalling hails Man Utd’s ‘never-say-die’ spirit
LONDON – Chris Smalling believes Manchester United’s Premier League revival is being inspired by the rediscovery of the resilience that was the hallmark of their golden era under Alex Ferguson.
Saturday’s 2-1 victory at Bournemouth was the third time in four league matches that United have recovered from a losing position, grabbing the winner in the second minute of stoppage time on this occasion.
United trail leaders Manchester City by nine points but have edged up into seventh position after taking 10 points from a possible 12.
Callum Wilson gave Bournemouth an early lead on England’s south coast and the home side could have been further ahead before Anthony Martial levelled for United in the 35th minute.
United, shaky in the first half, were much improved after the break but were forced to wait until the dying seconds before substitute Marcus Rashford grabbed a dramatic late winner
“We’re showing that attitude, never giving in and you can see that coming out,” said Smalling, 28.
“No matter how bad that first half was, that second half we all believed we can go and win. It’s a great feeling and it’s bringing us closer together.
“As games are getting tougher and tougher they’re closer than ever, and it’s often coming down to fine margins, who can give that added burst in the last five minutes. We’re going to win a lot of points that way.”
The defender said the club had a difficult week ahead, with a Champions League clash against Juventus on Wednesday followed by a daunting trip to neighbours City next weekend.
“We know we’re going into a very tough week now but we can come out with some good results and it can be seen as a good month, considering (October) was probably one of our toughest months.
“We have to stick together. This is a club that is talked about more than any other and we as players need to stick together and ride out the tough times and stay together in the good and try to keep them flowing as much as we can.”