Chris Smalling has insisted that Manchester United still have “a lot to play for” following their Europa League exit at the hands of Liverpool on Thursday.
Man United drew 1-1 on the night and 3-1 on aggregate after Philippe Coutinho struck to cancel out Anthony Martial’s penalty at Old Trafford.
It was the latest in a series of blows for United but Smalling insisted his side can stake a claim for a top four finish in the Premier League with a win over Manchester City on Sunday.
“We’re going to want to make sure we go into that international break on a high and the only way we can close the gap on the top four is by beating somebody who’s already in there. It’s our time to step up,” Smalling said.
“There’s still a lot to play for. We need to show that consistency in our performances and, if we can build on that first half [against Liverpool], we give ourselves a chance in the league and in the FA Cup.”
United have been lifeless and devoid of any fight for a number of months now and it is hard to imagine them getting a convincing win over City, although Manuel Pellegrini’s side have been in poor form themselves.
Unfortunately, it’s got to the point under Louis van Gaal where supporters are expecting the team to let them down.