Smalling compares United spirit to Ferguson era

Manchester United's fighting spirit is starting to remind defender Chris Smalling of life under legendary manager Alex Ferguson.

Manchester United's Chris Smalling   -  Getty Images

Chris Smalling says Manchester United's never-say-die attitude is reminiscent of life under Alex Ferguson.

The Reds' latest last-gasp win came at Bournemouth on Saturday, where Marcus Rashford’s stoppage-time goal was enough to secure a 2-1 win.

That followed last month's dramatic 3-2 win over Newcastle United at Old Trafford, which saw Juan Mata, Anthony Martial and Alexis Sanchez score second-half goals to overturn a two-goal deficit.

United have endured a poor start to the season and were outplayed in the first half against the Cherries, but Smalling believes the club are again starting to show the fighting spirit made so famous during the Ferguson era.

Asked if such comebacks reminded him of playing for the Scot, who retired in 2013 after 26 years in charge of the club, Smalling told reporters: "Yes, we're showing that attitude, never giving in. No matter how bad the first half was, the second half we all believed we could go and win.

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"It's a great feeling and it's bringing us closer together. As games are getting tougher and tougher – I think they’re closer than ever – it is often coming down to fine margins. Who can give that added burst in the last five minutes?

"We're going to win a lot of points that way, and a lot of other teams are going to gain or lose points that way."

United's recent resurgence will be tested this week with Jose Mourinho's side facing daunting visits to Juventus on Wednesday and Manchester City on Sunday.

Smalling, however, believes the nature of their win over Bournemouth will give them the fillip they need to pick up positive results.

"I think that it would galvanise us," he added. "We know we're going into a very tough week now but we can come out with some good results and it can be seen as a good month.

"It is an especially tough month now and potentially after the international break when we have a lot of home games it's all about making sure we get results and move up that table despite the tough games."

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