United defender Chris Smalling has stated that the club should not be in a position to celebrate a top four finish every season.
Instead, he wants the club to be challenging for titles like they once did under the guidance of Sir Alex Ferguson. United secured Champions League qualification after their main rivals Liverpool failed to take advantage of the recent dropped points. Despite three consecutive defeats in the league only a few weeks ago, United were able to seal the final fourth spot. However, they will miss out on a top three place that would give them direct access to the Champions League group stages after a 1-1 draw with Arsenal.
After struggling a lot with form and consistency in the first half of the campaign, United showed a lot of improvement towards the latter stages. It has been a major reason behind the top four finish. Smalling reckons that the club can build on this good form going into the next season. The former Fulham defender was one of the much improved players in the United team. His inexperience along with the lack of leadership at the back was seen as a major disadvantage. However, Phil Jones and Smalling have did extremely well in the latter stages of the season.
“It’s not a season where we’re massively celebrating, it’s a step. Next season we know that won’t be good enough and our fans at the end of the game were terrific.Hopefully next season we’ll be having a parade with something to really cheer about.I think as the season’s gone on, we’ve got better, but Chelsea’s consistency from day one has won them the title. Sometimes they didn’t play well and still won games – they saw off games like this one against Arsenal,” said the United defender.