Time for Man United to show we mean business – Chris Smalling

Manchester United defender is backing his side to "show everyone we mean business" during the hectic festive period

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Sir Alex Ferguson's side take on Fulham in London on Wednesday The Sport Review

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Chris Smalling believes the hectic festive period is the perfect time for Manchester United to show they “mean business” in their hunt for silverware.

United kick off a packed Christmas schedule with a trip to Craven Cottage to face Fulham on Wednesday before hosting Wigan Athletic at Old Trafford on Saturday.

And with Sir Alex Ferguson’s side currently trailing league leaders and bitter rivals Manchester City by five points, Smalling is well aware of the importance of the next fortnight as United bid to retain their Premier League crown.

“The players always look forward to this time of year with plenty of games,” Smalling told United’s website and PA Sport. “We’re used to the demands and it’s a big opportunity to pick up a lot of points – we want to get maximum points.

“Christmas can be a hindrance on some and can sometimes make or break you in terms of kicking on, but this is a period where we really need to kick on and show everybody we mean business.”

Smalling returns to London to face his former club Fulham on Wednesday after sealing a move to Old Trafford in January 2010.

And the 22-year-old defender admits he owes a lot to former Fulham boss Roy Hodgson for giving him a chance to impress during his time in the capital.

“I see my time there as a big two years,” he continued. “My first year was about finding my feet and the second was about showcasing what I can do.

“Without Roy Hodgson giving me my chance there I wouldn’t be here, so it’s a time I look upon fondly. It’ll be nice to go back and see a few of the players and play back at the Cottage.”

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