Smalling - Belief is back

Manchester United centre-back Chris Smalling insists the players are starting to believe in themselves once again after four wins on the bounce.

The Red Devils have beaten Crystal Palace, Arsenal, Hull City and Stoke City in the last few weeks.

Their impressive results have seen them climb the table and Louis van Gaal's men are now fourth in the Premier League.

Despite winning four games on the trot, United continued to show their weakness during Tuesday's win over the Potters.

Goalkeeper David de Gea and midfielder Ashley Young both cleared off the line to deny the Stoke attack when the visitors looked destined to equalise during stoppage time in the game at Old Trafford.

Smalling has played his part so far this season as one of the more experienced members of the United defence. He has played alongside Paddy McNair and Tyler Blackett so far and his side will have plenty of work to do in their next few games.

They face Southampton, Liverpool, Aston Villa, Newcastle United and Tottenham in the next few weeks and their top-four credentials will certainly be put to the test.

Smalling insists the team are currently playing with confidence and with several players returning from injury, he insists the belief is back at Old Trafford.

When asked if they can win their upcoming games, Smalling said: "Yes I think we can. I think at the moment we are in such a good run of form. We have got that belief back.

"Now we will work hard for the rest of the week because we have got two big games next week that could put us up there with the boys around us.

"We have had two good performances where we have played some good football. If we can keep this run going I think we will get better.

"We are happy playing games and getting the results. It is a happy place at the minute. I think we are starting to get a good number of players that are playing regularly and I think it is showing."

Smalling's team-mate Marouane Fellaini has echoed his comments and he is one member of the squad that has shown an extra bit of quality this season.

The Belgium international scored against West Brom in October and he was also on hand to fire in United's first goal against Stoke.

The former Everton man believes the team have come on in the last few weeks and he is hopeful their good form can continue.

He said: "We have to take it game by game and we will see after. We have a lot of games and we have to keep winning - at Southampton as well. They are better in the table than us and we'll see on Monday.

"We know each other a lot better, we know the manager and the staff, we know the philosophy of the manager. We train hard as well so we have to continue like that. We have to continue to play to win, it's important for the confidence."

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