Smalling Discusses Mourinho, Matic and Roma Objectives

Chris Smalling will anchor the Roma defense for another season. The center-back weighed in on the previous campaign and the upcoming one on Corriere dello Sport.

“The celebration after winning the European Conference League made it clear how much it meant to the fans. Now it is important to build on it. My first year here was good because I avoided injuries. Instead, I got hurt in practice in the second one and it affected me for a while. The key to return to high levels was to work hard and respect the timetable.”

The veteran reunited with José Mourinho in the Italian capital.

“He is always the same. He is a leader with a strong character that he built over time. A coach like him is well-regarded all over the world and is perfect for this club. It is not a coincidence that we won a trophy in his first season.”

Smalling is confident about Roma heading into 2022/2023.

“I like the squad, and normally the expectations grow. The group is good. We will be strong and more consistent than last year. I think that competing to quality for the Champions League should be our minimum goal. This club has not partecipated for too long.”

Another former Manchester United player, Nemanja Matic, joined the Giallorossi this summer.

“I know him very well and we have always had a good relationship. It was nice to see another familiar face. He will be a critical reinforcement.”

Smalling has just a year on his contract with Roma.

“My priority is to play and then things will come on their own. I try to take advantage of any training session and game the best I can to prolong my career and take care of myself.”