Smalling: We must learn from mistakes
Chris Smalling believes Manchester United need to learn from their mistakes this season to make sure they do not have another nightmare year in the future.
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United, who have finished in the top three in each of the previous 21 Premier League seasons, are currently in seventh place and are certain to finish the campaign without silverware.
Smalling, 24, says he and his teammates are hurt by the club’s struggles this term, but is convinced it will motivate them to ensure that a similar campaign does not happen again.
"It's a strange feeling for a lot of us to be in the position that we find ourselves in," he told Inside United. "Even before I joined, and since I've been here, we've always been competing at the top of the league.
"You learn that you can't take what has happened in previous years for granted. I think this experience will help us make sure we never let this happen again.
"We gave ourselves an uphill task by not really starting the season well and, come next season, we will make sure we work harder than ever. This club deserves to be at the top and, hopefully, we'll be back there soon enough."
United have suffered 10 league defeats this season, their most in the Premier League era, but Smalling says one of the club’s major regrets is their lack of consistency -- such as when December’s sequence of six straight victories was followed by three straight losses.
He added: "Whenever we've made progress this season, we've not followed it up in the next two or three games, which has been disappointing. That has hurt us. I know how much the fans are hurting and we're hurting as well.
"I want the supporters to know that we're always striving and trying to improve and, hopefully, we can build up a little run between now and the end of the season because the fans deserve it."