Manchester United need to 'come out fighting' against Tottenham - Chris Smalling
Chris Smalling has told his Manchester United teammates to "come out fighting" against Tottenham after a frustrating week waiting for the chance to put things right following the demoralising defeat to Brighton.
Jose Mourinho's side have had seven days to pore over the result at the Amex Stadium and prepare for Tottenham's visit to Old Trafford on Monday night.
Smalling admits the wait has not been ideal but he is hopeful United can use it to their advantage and get back on track.
"I'd rather have had the game on Saturday because you just want to bounce back after a defeat," Smalling told United's official website. "It's a long weekend but, at the same time, we've had a long time to prepare for the game and we've tried to take advantage of those days.
"We have to regroup and we've had a good amount of days on the training pitch. It's about putting that hard work in, then standing up and showing some character come Monday night. We need to come out fighting."
Smalling has not played so far this season with Mourinho choosing to pair Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly at centre-back. The pair were culpable for all three goals against Brighton and Smalling, who has a good record of keeping Harry Kane quiet, will be first in line if the Untied boss decides to make changes.
"This is a good game for us to have," said Smalling. "When you lose a game, the next one is more important than ever.
"The fact that it's a big game at Old Trafford, that's when the big players rise to the occasion. We're determined to be ready.
"I think both clubs have good players. The way we both play and the fact we each have players who can win games. Both teams can defend well too, so I think that's why the games have tended to be close over the last few years."