Chris Smalling is refusing to dwell on his red card against Manchester City in the derby and insists it was an out of character action that won’t happen again.
His red card in the first half left Manchester United with a mountain to climb away at City and despite a valiant attempt with a late surge, United succumbed to a 1-0 defeat.
Fans partly blame Smalling for the defeat due to the two avoidable yellow cards he received but speaking ahead of Arsenal this weekend, Smalling said Roy Hodgson didn’t have to talk too much about the incident during international duty with England.
“He didn’t need to say much regarding that,” he said.
“It was very out of character for me and one of those things that I just have to move on from.
“But I don’t really pick up many yellows or decisions like that so hopefully that will be one that will never happen again.”
Back when Smalling and Jones were defensive partners in England’s U21s campaign in 2011, he was a very assured defender and the fact is that he hasn’t progressed enough since then.
His progress has been marred by injuries just like it has this season and it’s something which is bottlenecking his growth as a player.
“It’s not easy,” said Smalling about United’s defensive injury woes.
“I’ve been out with a few injuries as well and a lot of the defenders have.
“It’s hard to really pick up momentum. Hopefully we can get as many bodies back, really kick on for the next game and hopefully get a good squad together.
“It’s one of those at the minute where we can’t turn a corner without picking up an injury, but a few players got through it and hopefully we will have a good team for Saturday.”
Smalling is in contention to return from suspension this weekend against Arsenal but he now has to regain the trust of some United fans who have lost faith in him after his impetuous red card against City.