Man United’s Chris Smalling eyes Premier League & Europa double
Chris Smalling is hopeful Manchester United can retain their Premier League title as well as winning the Europa League
Chris Smalling has challenged Manchester United secure a Premier League and Europa League this season.
The 22-year-old, who won the league title for the first time with the Red Devils last season, wants the Old Trafford outfit to make up for their disappointing Champions League exit by winning Europe’s second tier competition as well as pipping derby rivals City to the domestic crown.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s side have one foot in the last 16 after their 2-0 victory over Ajax in Amsterdam on Thursday ahead of the return leg of the last 32 tie on Thursday.
“You only need to look at the teams who are still in the Europa League to realise it’s a competition worth winning,” Smalling told United’s website.
“Eight of the teams were competing in the Champions League earlier this season and a lot of the others have done so previously. The Europa League is a strong competition and there are plenty of mouth-watering ties in this phase.
“Obviously we’d still like to be in the Champions League but we’re looking at the Europa League as a second chance. We’re going to go out there and show Europe we can still perform and we can still win trophies.
“We want to reach the final, although we know it won’t be easy. All of the players will be going out on the pitch and giving our all to reach the final.”
Manchester City are currently two points clear at the top of the Premier League table – and United take on Roberto Mancini’s side at Etihad Stadium on 28 April in what could be a crucial encounter in the race for the title.
“I was lucky to win the league in my first season and, at the risk of sounding greedy, I want to win the league every year,” he added.
“That’s how it should be at Manchester United. In fact, I’d be disappointed if we didn’t win at least one or two trophies every season.
“I don’t feel like a new boy at all anymore. I’ve been here for 18 months, so I feel well and truly settled.
“I think I’ve learnt a lot since I joined and I’m striving all the time to improve because I want to be a part of many more title wins in the future.”