Manchester United defender Chris Smalling is hoping to play a part in this weekend's Manchester derby after starting his first game of the season against Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday.

The England international played at right back in a Wayne Rooney-inspired 4-2 win against the German team and is hoping to retain his spot for Sunday's clash against Manchester City.

Smalling endured a frustrating time last season, plagued by injury for both the start and end of United's title-winning campaign.

But he is now looking to cement a place in David Moyes' team and is eager to retain his spot for Sunday's trip to Eastlands, even if he has to play out of position.

"I have been fit since the start of the season and have just been waiting for my chance because we have a very competitive squad now," said the 23-year-old.

“It is very true the manager has less room to manoeuvre because of having such a big squad. He has to go with what he feels.

“The ones like myself who have not been in the starting line-up just have to make sure in training we do as well as we can and make sure when we get our chance we let him know we are here and he doesn’t forget about us.

“I was just glad to get back playing again on Tuesday night.

“Right-back is not my preferred position, but I know I can play there if needs be and after such a frustrating time you are just glad to be back and involved again.

"Of course I want to stay in for Sunday. It is a game that we all relish.”

Last season's derby at the Etihad in the Premier League was won by a dramatic late free kick from Robin van Persie.

And Smalling recalls the moment with great enthusiasm having played his part as a second-half substitute.

“If there was ever a way you could choose to win a game, in the last minute, away from home, against your biggest rivals, that was it,” recalls Smalling.

“The celebrations and what we went through afterwards were brilliant.”

City and United are both currently tied on seven points in the Premier League sitting fourth and fifth respectively. 

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