Manchester United defender Chris Smalling has waved off their disappointment on losing out of PL International Cup, saying the team spirit is quite impressive.
The England international footballer spoke with MUTV after their 1-0 victory over French club side Saint-Etienne on Wednesday.
Smalling plays a center-back role for both Manchester United and The Three Lions.
The Red Devils lost 0-2 to Everton in their last Premier League International Cup campaign but football is a game where you “win some and lose some.”
Smalling, a former Fulham player, was part of Jose Mourinho’s men who won 4-0 on aggregate after the second-leg match.
In his interview with MUTV following The Red Devils’ Round of 16 qualification, Smalling hailed his teammates for their resilience.
Mourinho’s team suffered a huge setback with Eric Bailly’s red card, but they kept their emotions in check until the final whistle.
“It’s testament to our fitness levels and the games we’ve played that we can almost make it look like its 11 against 11 even when we’re a man down,” he said on the numerical disadvantage.
“We had chances in that period that were better than theirs so overall it’s a good job.
“We knew we were coming into the game a few goals ahead but it was all about that first goal. The crowd could have inspired them to do anything so it really helped us control the game.”
Smalling recalls getting his nail name “The Cauldron” during his playing days at Stade Geoffrey-Guichard, saying the 42,000-capacity stadium guarantees a lively atmosphere.
However, he said Man U’s focus is now on Sunday’s EFL Cup final against Southampton at Wembley.
“Their fans were incredible,” he added.
“Even at the end when they were so many goals behind it was a great atmosphere to play in.
“I can’t wait to get my boots back on now. We’ll be relishing Sunday and the chance to pick up a piece of silverware,” the 27-year-old said.
“There are quite a few of us that have played a number of games at Wembley and maybe some of their players haven’t, so hopefully that will give us the edge on Sunday.”