Global Sports : Smalling Aims For Second Place

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Chris Smalling insists Manchester United are capable of overtaking Manchester City and finishing second in the Premier League.
United eased to a 3-0 win over Tottenham at Old Trafford on Sunday to move two points behind City, who lost to Burnley on Saturday. Louis van Gaal’s side are also one point behind third-placed Arsenal, who visit Old Trafford on the penultimate weekend of the season.
And Smalling is convinced finishing as runners-up is a realistic ambition for United.
“Yes, I think we could, especially after City’s result on Saturday,” he said. “It is all very close.
“I think it’s very open all the way up to second place and we will be aiming for that, especially when we are playing those teams coming up.
“We want Champions League football back here. It’s a must. Fourth is the minimum but when it’s there, second is a realistic target and if we keep on performing like that I don’t see why we can’t give it a good push.”
United face Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday, then Aston Villa, City and Chelsea, and Smalling is excited at the prospect of matches against sides in and around them in the table as well as an improving Villa.
“These games are six-pointers,” he said. “We can do ourselves a favour and do our rivals big damage as well.
“Sunday was the first step. It was the perfect time to put in a performance like that, especially with our run of fixtures.”
Meanwhile, United midfielder Michael Carrick has backed Van Gaal as manager.
“The players are behind him, of course,” said Carrick. “It is just that results prove everything, don’t they?
“We can improve on the training pitch, but it is all about what we do on game day really. And Sunday was a big step for us.
“I think it will give everyone a big boost and big shot of confidence. And it shows we are moving in the right direction.

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