Man Utd boss Ferguson: Smalling return will be important

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is eager to welcome back Chris Smalling after the international break.

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is eager to welcome back Chris Smalling after the international break.

The Reds defended superbly at Newcastle with each individual member of the back four impressing but Smalling will be looking to earn a place in the line-up, starting with the home fixture against Stoke City following the international break. With Sir Alex full of admiration for Evans and Rio Ferdinand in particular, it will be no easy task for the former Fulham defender to force his way into the side.

"Ferdinand and Evans were magnificent [at Newcastle]," enthused Sir Alex. "Absolutely brilliant. That kind of form definitely gives you a solid base. It gives us a security and enables the midfield players and front players to get on with their jobs. They cleared everything.

"We've got to get consistency in the performances and in the results. Once we get that, we'll get into a rhythm. We've got the squad to deal with all the games, we've got a really good squad. And after the international break, we'll have Chris Smalling back which will be another addition to our squad which is very important."

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