Smalling targets central role

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Chris Smalling believes his future lies at centre-back rather than at full-back, after the Manchester United defender made his England debut against Bulgaria on Friday.

Smalling has seen himself installed as No.1 right back at Old Trafford, while for England, in the absence of Glen Johnson, the 21-year-old made his international debut in the wider defensive role.

However, despite the faith being put in him by Fabio Capello and Sir Alex Ferguson at full-back, the former Fulham defender believes his future lies in a central position.

"I played a few games at right-back in pre-season, but so did Phil Jones because we had lost players like Wes Brown and John O'Shea, " said Smalling.


"To play for United and now England in a position I'm not used to has been difficult. I have never played there before so it's been a steep learning curve, but I'll play wherever I'm needed.

"I can do a job at right-back but I see it as a temporary thing. If Sir Alex tells me to play full-back then I'll try my best to do the job, but I think I am a centre-half.

"I want to be challenging Rio [Ferdinand] and [Nemanja] Vidic for their place because that's where I feel I'm at my best.

"That's where I have always played. I hope that in the future I'll get to play there for club and country."

The United man’s England debut comes just three years after he broke through from non-league football, and Smalling is surprised himself at how quickly things have turned around.

"Things keep happening so quickly that I haven't really been able to take stock of it all,' Smalling added.

"I didn't expect England to come along so quickly.

"My aim for the season was to play as many games as possible for United and to take it from there."

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Chris Smalling
Premier League
Manchester United

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