Chris Smalling previews Man United v Newcastle United

Chris Smalling and Jose Mourinho have their say ahead of Man United's clash with Newcastle United on Saturday

The Sport Review staff
By The Sport Review staff
Jose Mourinho
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho Photo: UEFA / Handout

Chris Smalling has told his Manchester United team-mates to build on their goalless draw against Valencia when they host Newcastle United in the Premier League on Saturday.

The Red Devils have found themselves under intense pressure already this season after having failed to find consistent form in all competitions under Jose Mourinho.

Indeed, Manchester United are currently down in 10th place in the Premier League table and they were knocked out of the League Cup at the hands of lower-league Derby County last week.

The Red Devils are now focusing on trying to get their campaign back in track after they slumped to a third Premier League defeat of the season last weekend when they went down 3-1 to West Ham United at The London Stadium.

Manchester United were held to a goalless draw by Valencia in their Champions League tie at Old Trafford on Tuesday night.

However, Smalling – who started the game – feels that the Red Devils improved as the game went on, and he challenged his team-mates to keep improving as they prepare to welcome Newcastle United to Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon.

Speaking to BT Sport on Tuesday, Smalling said: “I think we grew stronger and stronger as the game went on.

““I think we need to make sure that we follow that up on Saturday, because we will come up against a team who are going to be equally as hard to break down and we need that intensity and tempo in order to do that.”

Meanwhile, manager Jose Mourinho admitted that Tuesday’s game was a frustrating one for his team, although he was encouraged by some small improvements following their dire performance at West Ham United last weekend.

Mourinho said: “It was a frustrating night and not the result we want.

“There were some improvements in our performance because if we don’t perform at least at an acceptable level, we would lose and a defeat would leave us in a difficult situation.”

Manchester United are now under intense pressure to get a positive result when they host the Magpies in front of their home fans on Saturday evening.

The Red Devils are already nine points behind joint leaders Manchester City and Liverpool FC – and the three points will be essential if they want to have any hope of somehow clawing their way back into the title race this season.

Whether Mourinho can lead the Red Devils to a trophy this season after failing to win any silverware at all last term, still remains to be seen.

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