Second best not good enough for United

Manchester United defender Chris Smalling has admitted that his side will not be happy with finishing second in the Premier League this season, even if they get more points than last term.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s men have more points on the board now than at the same stage last season, but are trailing rivals Manchester City by three points in the race for the title.

Smalling has stated that criticism over the side’s performances are expected if The Red Devils are not at the top of the pile.

“I can understand the criticism. We’re second in the league and the expectations of this club – from both inside and out – are massive,” he told Mirror Football.

“If we’re not on top, then everybody’s asking why. Rightly so, too. Finishing second with more points than we collected last season won’t make us feel any better about ourselves.

“The only objective is to win the league. We knew the Christmas period was going to be tough and we did well against QPR, Fulham and Wigan.

“But we were gutted to get beaten by Blackburn on New Year’s Eve, and then by Newcastle a few days later.

“The win over City in the FA Cup has given us a lift, so we hope now we can kick on, because there are some big games to come,” he concluded.

United travel to take on Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in a mouth-watering clash on Sunday.

By Gareth McKnight