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Smalling thanks Fulham for his success

last updated Tuesday 20th December 2011, 7:06 PM

Former Fulham defender Chris Smalling
Fulham defender
Chris Smalling
Chris Smalling
Manchester United defender Chris Smalling has admitted he would not be where he is today without the two years he spent at Fulham.

Smalling will show no mercy towards his old club on Wednesday when United visit Craven Cottage hunting three more points in their quest to retain the Barclays Premier League title.

However, the 21-year-old will be greeting some old friends before and after kick-off.

And, although he only made 14 senior appearances for the Cottagers, it was the period between being snapped up from non-league Maidstone to arriving at Manchester United in 2010 that turned him into an England international.

"Without [former Fulham boss] Roy Hodgson giving me my chance there I wouldn't be here," he said.

"I had a big two years there and it is a time I look back upon fondly.

"My first year was about finding my feet. The second was about showcasing what I can do.

"It'll be nice to go back and see a few of the players and play back at the Cottage."

Not that Gaitan, or any other new arrival, could assist at Fulham, who bounced back from their shock Europa League exit by beating Bolton on home soil at the weekend.

"Fulham have had a strong foundation there for the last few years and have kept the squad pretty solid," said Smalling.

Source ESPNStar
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