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Smalling ready to challenge Fellaini for “vital” late sub makeshift target man role

Defender Chris set to take on midfielder Marouane as Mourinho's first-choice desperation sub.

By Jonny Abrams

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Chris Smalling is ready to challenge Marouane Fellaini
BIT-CHAMPING: Smalling (Image: Andrea Sartorati)

Chris Smalling says he’s “ready for the fight” to be José Mourinho’s first-choice late substitute makeshift target man.

Many had assumed Marouane Fellaini to be ideally suited to the role, which traditionally yields fruitless results.

But Smalling stepped up to the late substitute makeshift target man plate with aplomb in Man Utd’s 1-0 Europa League defeat at Feyenoord.

Speaking exclusively to Football Burp, Smalling indicated his openness to also performing the role for Sam Allardyce’s England.

He said: “You know, at least for the 90 per cent of the time that Andy Carroll’s out injured.

“I feel I’m ready. I’ve learned a lot from Marouane – win headers, flick it on into the safe hands of an alert and onrushing goalkeeper.

“I’ve got it sussed. This is my career now, so everyone can carry on pretending Daley Blind is a centre-back.

“Call it the Blind spot, if you will.”