Chris Smalling Says Second Place Finish a Bare Minimum for Man United

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Manchester United central defender Chris Smalling maintains that a second place finish should be the bare minimum for his side, who are currently in the midst of a heated battle for the top four. Liverpool forward Sadio Mane made a similar statement of ambition, as he believes his Reds can finish runners-up to champions-in-waiting Manchester City.

Second place United are currently two points ahead of third place Liverpool, who are two points ahead of fourth place Tottenham Hotspur. Chelsea are two points behind them in fifth.

“I think obviously we’ve been second for quite a while and that needs to be our bare minimum,” Smalling said as he declared United’s ambitions for the season.

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“The fact we get to play Liverpool at home as well I think is a big advantage. If we can separate ourselves from Chelsea and Liverpool and work our way up then we can do that, but I think that’s our (goal) first and foremost.”

Chris Smalling was a part of United’s most recent league champions team in 2012-2013, and the Red Devils haven’t finished higher than fourth since. Smalling sees a huge boost coming from yesterday’s 2-1 win over Chelsea at home.

“I think being able to beat a rival, it’s almost like a six-pointer because of how close we are. The confidence just breeds (more confidence and so forth) and we’re ready for the next one,” Smalling said of Sunday’s triumph.

“I think considering sort of how close we are in the table, I think it gives them a massive blow and us a lift.”

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and the Tribune company’s blogging community Chicago Now.

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