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United we stand!

SUCCESS: Young French ace Anthony Martial is already a hit at Old Trafford

MANCHESTER UNITED’S Chris Smalling is of the opinion that the Old Trafford outfit can have a happy new year. The Red Devils did not win a Premier League game in December but stopped the rot on January 2 with a hard-fought win over Swansea, leading the defender to feel that better days are ahead,

“We’ve tried to work hard on the training pitch," he told MUTV. “December was a poor month and it’s a great feeling to get that win [over Swansea].

“I think, especially in the last couple of games, we’ve fought hard and we need to kick on like we did. As players, we knew we had to stop that run and get on the front foot.

“It was a good start to the year and we can’t afford any more slip-ups now, so we need to make sure we keep playing like this."

Smalling, who joined the Manchester club in 2010, believes that young striker Anthony Martial could be key to United’s fortunes.

The former Fulham man added: "He’s come in and obviously had a lot of pressure but you can see right from the off he’s not afraid to be direct, get at people, use his pace and his tricks. He’s a terrific player and I’m glad we’ve got him."

HOPEFUL: Smalling

Martial, 20, completed a move to Manchester United from Monaco for £36 million, potentially rising to £58 million, on a four-year contract in September and has been a hit ever since.

On signing for his new team, Martial said, "I'm so excited to join United, I have always wanted to play in the Premier League and to join the biggest club in the world is what every young footballer dreams of."

France international Martial made his debut at Old Trafford on September 12 as a 65th-minute substitute for Juan Mata, and scored the final goal of a 3–1 win over rivals Liverpool.
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