Manchester United’s Chris Smalling has admitted that winning the title this season will be much sweeter as it would be over rivals Manchester City.
The Old Trafford defender believes that the way the media reports the rivalry adds to tension that comes inherently with going for a league title.
Smalling also felt the fact that many of Sir Alex Ferguson’s side personally know a number of the City squad makes getting one over on them even sweeter.
“It definitely means more because it’s City,” he said when speaking to the club’s official website.
“The media build it up and us as players definitely want to win it especially as we know quite a few of their players.
“It’s going to be crucial for whoever gets those bragging rights for the next year.”
Roberto Mancini’s side have stuttered somewhat in the past few weeks with a loss at Swansea City and only managing to draw at Stoke last weekend, where Peter Crouch scored a splendid volley.
United have taken the initiative and now lie three points clear of their local rivals at the top of the Premier League.
It is making things even more interesting for when the two sides meet at the end of next month, where a win for either side could decide what side of Manchester the trophy is going to.
Smalling believes that United’s form is ominous, especially when many of the squad’s injured players are beginning to make their way back.
The 22-year-old believes the fact that United are still in this position, despite all the injury problems is testament to the work that Ferguson does with his squad.
“The manager deserves a lot of credit for that with regard to how he approaches games and uses his players,” Smalling explained.
“We’ve probably had enough injuries for most of the teams in this league!
“Luckily though we’re still where we are and have shown we have the squad to be able to cope. Everyone is coming back at a crucial time.”