Date: 15th February 2011 at 4:30pm
Written by:

Rio Ferdinand may not have been physically taking part in the recent Manchester derby but he made sure his replacement, Chris Smalling, went into the game well briefed.

Smalling, who got my vote as man-of-the-match, discussed the role Rio had to play when talking about how the United defence had, for once, nullified the that a certain Carlos Tevez brings, remarking,

“I was talking to Rio on Friday and he was giving me little pointers.”

“He has played with and against Tevez and seen him in training.”

“He was making the point Carlos like to feel the defenders at his back.”

“So you let him have his touch before you move in and go for him.”

“To have that knowledge to tap into is incredible.”

“It is great to have that pre-match advice but you also cannot beat first-hand experience.”

It`s great to see thanks handed out where thanks are due!

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