The 27-year-old had been sidelined for seven weeks after picking up an injury on international duty with England and during that time Mourinho had continuously questioned his mentality in public.
Speaking about the situation, Smalling claims he’s still got a very good relationship with the Portuguese boss.
“You can take positives from it in that the manager wants you out on that pitch,” he said. “He wants you to represent him and be that fighter and warrior for him.
“Obviously with a knee injury there are certain protocols that need to happen. With the medical staff and with the coaches, we are pushing all the time.
“As players we don’t want to be sitting on the touchline or watching the games in the directors’ box. That is no fun. We have pushed as much as we can and I am glad to be back.
“We speak very closely with the manager and we have got a got a very good relationship.
“All throughout my injury we spoke about the process and when I would be back so it is good that the manager wants you because ultimately he has got that decision of whether you play or not.”
He’s played 34 times for United this season and even though he’s missed three months of the campaign through injury, supporters have often been let down by his performances.
Smalling is nowhere near the player he was under Louis van Gaal and it’s a shame because we thought he’d finally reached his best form but he could be on his way out this summer.