Chris Smalling determined to dump former club Fulham out as Manchester United hunt FA Cup glory

By Alex Bysouth

Defender Chris Smalling is determined to dump former side Fulham out of FA Cup after revealing his teammates are desperate to bring the trophy back to Old Trafford.

Manchester United have drawn the England international’s old side in a fourth-round home tie due to be played a week on Saturday.

And Smalling admitted the senior pros in the squad have reiterated the importance of the competition as United bid for a first FA Cup triumph since 2004.

“It does mean a lot,” he told MUTV. “I know Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes [and Darren Fletcher] are the only players who have won it.

“Rio and others have emphasised how important it is that they want to get on it – we want to help that.”

And Smalling feels being drawn at the Theatre Of Dreams will prove an advantage against Premier League opposition.

“Before this game, we knew we’d get a home draw and whoever it was against would be strong opponents,” he added.

“I saw some highlights of the Fulham game [at Blackpool] and it will be a nice game come Saturday week.

“At least we’re at home and we fancy ourselves.”

The 23-year-old was snapped up by Sir Alex Ferguson in January 2010 after impressing for Fulham at the start of the 2009/10 season.

The Three Lions defender partnered Phil Jones at the heart of United’s defence during Wednesday’s replay against West Ham United, but insists he can work well with whoever he plays alongside.

“All the defenders know each other as we play a lot together in training,” he said.

“We’ve not played too much together in matches but we’re both centre-halves and both out there to do a job.

“We’re starting to pick up a couple of clean sheets, which is nice.”

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