Manchester United star lauds Louis van Gaal’s effect on him

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Manchester United defender Chris Smalling has praised manager Louis van Gaal for his faith in him over the last few months, reports the Daily Star.

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The 25-year-old has been a regular when fit under the 63-year-old, making 22 appearances despite spending time on the sidelines with injuries. A recent performance alongside Phil Jones against Liverpool was especially assured. This has helped him to be called up to the current England squad, and he could feature in their friendly match against Italy on Monday.

The former Fulham player said: “The manager has shown a lot of faith in me. Especially over the last couple of months. The manager has chosen me and I am enjoying my football. I think he is very honest.

“He says what you are doing very well and what you can improve. He has real belief in you. We have got another eight games, so we will look to finish as strong as we can.”

The Red Devils are currently fourth in the Premier League, five points clear of fifth placed Liverpool after a 3-0 win over them last week. With only eight matches to go, they are in a good position to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

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