Chris Smalling believes that Manchester United are showing a similar kind of attitude to that which was so commonplace under Sir Alex Ferguson after their recent improved results and comebacks.
Under Sir Alex, Manchester United became a name synonymous with playing exciting football and scoring late goals, as the Premier League’s greatest ever manager instilled a ‘never say day attitude’ during his days at Old Trafford.
That identity has been missing ever since his retirement in 2013, but in the last three Premier League games, United have come from behind to snatch seven points.
The Red Devils were 2-0 down against Newcastle with just 20 minutes to go, but embarked on a rousing comeback to win 3-2, before grabbing a well-earned draw against Chelsea a week later. This weekend they were at it again, falling behind to an early Bournemouth strike, before going on to snatch a last-minute winner after a vastly improved second-half performance.
With some drawing similarities to the days of the infamous ‘Fergie-time’ winners, Chris Smalling – one of the few remaining players to have played under the legendary Scot – thinks that the current crop of United stars are starting to show that old battling spirit:
“We’re showing that attitude, never giving in and you can see that coming out,” Smalling told Sky Sports.
“No matter how bad that first half was, that second half we all believed we can go and win. It’s a great feeling and it’s bringing us closer together.
“As games are getting tougher and tougher they’re closer than ever, and it’s often coming down to fine margins, who can give that added burst in the last five minutes. We’re going to win a lot of points that way.
“We know we’re going into a very tough week now but we can come out with some good results and it can be seen as a good month, considering (October) was probably one of our toughest months.
“We have to stick together. This is a club that is talked about more than any other and we as players need to stick together and ride out the tough times and stay together in the good and try to keep them flowing as much as we can.
“We knew that three points was a must because we have to move up that table.”
Next up for United is a tricky Champions League trip to Turin to face Juventus, before they hope to repeat the feat of last years Manchester derby at the Etihad, where they came from 2-0 down to win 3-2.