Sport Soccer

Monday 18 February 2019

Smalling: We have conceded too many

Jose Mourinho’s side bounced back from successive defeats on Sunday.

Manchester United defender Chris Smalling believes clean sheets are the key to turning around their early-season form (Martin Rickett/PA)
Manchester United defender Chris Smalling believes clean sheets are the key to turning around their early-season form (Martin Rickett/PA)

By Carl Markham, Press Association Sport

Manchester United defender Chris Smalling admits clean sheets are the key to turning around their stuttering start to the season.

Jose Mourinho’s side conceded seven goals in their opening three matches before registering their first shut-out in the 2-0 win at Burnley at the weekend.

At the same stage last season United had three clean sheets and just two goals against on their way to finishing second, with clean sheets in half their league matches.

“Last season we picked up a lot of clean sheets and this year we’ve conceded early goals,” Smalling told MUTV.

“We need to get back what we’ve done in the last few seasons when we’ve conceded very few goals, like on Sunday.

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David De Gea kept his first clean sheet of the season at Turf Moor (Nick Potts/PA)

“It was down to us players to stand up tall and get a result, and we’re very happy with the win.

“With us not having a game in the week, we’d been able to work on a lot of patterns of play and you could see them coming out and finishing with the goals, so we were happy with that.”

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