Chris Smalling impressed by Javier Hernandez in training

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Manchester United defender Chris Smalling has given his backing to striker Javier Hernandez following his cameo appearance against Newcastle United at the weekend.

The Mexican was unable to break the deadlock when coming off the bench against the Magpies, but did go close to grabbing a late winner as Dutch international Tim Krul produced a fine save to deny the former Real Madrid loanee.

Chicharito's performance certainly wasn't a surprise to Smalling, who has been impressed with the forward in training so far this season. The England international admits he's been 'lively' at Carrington, as 'the Little Pea' looks to make a statement to manager Louis van Gaal.


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"Chicha is looking so lively in training and he had a great chance as well. He was just unfortunate that a couple of metres either side and that nicks a goal," he told MUTV post-match.

Hernandez is currently the second-choice striker at Old Trafford, with captain Wayne Rooney ahead of him in the pecking order. James Wilson is also pushing to be involved, but is currently third choice behind the aforementioned duo.

With Rooney struggling for form, more chances could be coming the way of Hernandez in the coming weeks, starting against Club Brugge in the second leg of their Champions League qualifier on Wednesday night.

The forward came off the bench in the first leg last week and will again hope to feature in Belgium after being included in every matchday squad so far this season under the Dutchman.

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