Chris Smalling has piled the plaudits on Manchester United’s forwards – saying they take some credit for the club’s current miserly defensive record.
United have gone five games without conceding a goal following Saturday’s 2-0 win over West Brom, and while Louis van Gaal’s tactics have also come in for criticism, Smalling believes the club’s strikers – including two-goal Wayne Rooney – deserve their share of the credit for their current defensive stubbornness.
“Over the last year we have had a very good record and in the last month we’ve had many clean sheets and as a back four, that’s really pleasing,” Smalling told MUTV.
“We’ve been able to do that even when we’ve had a few changes in the back four and have stuck together.
“Everyone knows their jobs so it’s great to be a part of such a good defensive unit, especially knowing that we’ve always got that chance of scoring at the other end if we can keep it tight.
“I think a lot of managers say that it starts from the front and us as defenders know it helps our job when the front two strikers put that pressure on. If they can do that it makes our job a lot easier. You know that without the whole team working together, it’s a very hard job for the defenders, so everyone plays a part.”
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