Manchester United defender Chris Smalling has said that he would like to repay the faith of manager Louis van Gaal for his consistent playing time this season.
The 2015/16 season has been great for the defender, making more than 50 appearances this campaign. He has been rewarded by the Dutch coach taking the captain armband in the absence of Wayne Rooney and Daley Blind.
Smalling was deservedly rewarded recently as he was awarded Player's Player of the Season on Monday night and said that he is hoping to continue his great performances to repay his manager.
He told Sky Sports that the rest of the season is about "repaying him really" and that he puts "a lot of responsibility" on the players but overall that is is about the "trust to know you're playing" and that he is going to "put that faith in you".
Pressure is on
It has been a poor season overall for the Red Devils and van Gaal has been under constant pressure, but Smalling said that the manager has done well to deflect the pressure off himself.
He said that he "put himself forward" and took some of the pressure off the players and said that he is "very good" at deflecting it - as he knows that the side need to "perform on game day".
He continued saying that he thrives on it and that he likes it and even when you have "not got the captain's armband" there are "many eyes on you" and that you "have to perform".
He said that when he is captain the "players that look to you" in tough moments and makes you "back yourself" and makes you put in "great performance".
Manchester United will visit Norwich City at Carrow Road on Saturday, May 7 with kick-off at 12:45pm BST.