Chris Smalling hits back at Gareth Southgate after England snub

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Manchester United defender Chris Smalling has questioned Gareth Southgate's decision to leave him out of the England squad for their recent friendlies against Germany and Brazil.

"I don't feel like I really need to prove anything to Gareth because I play under one of the biggest and most successful managers in Jose and he's only going to pick the best players", Smalling said.

Their defence has been extremely stingy and the 27-year-old Smallling, who plays at centre-back was understandably proud of their record as he effused, "I think, this year, we've got one of the best defensive records and I'm very proud to be a part of that".

Chris Smalling says he has nothing to prove to England boss Gareth Southgate and claims his current form should guarantee him a spot at the 2018 World Cup.

Gareth Southgate preferred John Stones Eric Dier and Harry Maguire in central defence
Gareth Southgate preferred John Stones Eric Dier and Harry Maguire in central defence

I play under one of the biggest, most successful managers in Jose [Mourinho], and he's only going to pick the best players.

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Smalling said he had nothing to prove to the England boss and still hoped to force his way into contention for the World Cup in Russian Federation.

Mourinho said his comments about Smalling were from a selfish perspective and added that in reality he wanted his players to be happy and play for their national teams.

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"Was I surprised [to be left out]?"

Smalling also weighed in on United's attack: "I think it would strike fear into me if I was playing us and I think it strikes fear into most team".

"I play for one of the biggest clubs and under one of the most successful managers and as long as that's the case, I think, ultimately, it's your club form that decides whether you play at a World Cup".

Mourinho's men are set to face Basel in the Champions League on Wednesday coming off the back of a morale-boosting 4-1 victory over Newcastle which saw Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic welcomed back into the fold.

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"No matter what game it is, no matter what competition it is, we've got a front three or four who can cause the opposition problems".

Smalling though has hit back at Southgate and says he would not be at Manchester United if he didn't possess a full range of abilities.

Mourinho said: "I hope he doesn't get his spot because somebody comes back injured, he back comes injured, Jones back comes injured, and real injuries, because there are other injuries where the players can not play on the Wednesday and are ideal for the Saturday".

"Smalling is playing all the time and. tomorrow plays again".

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