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Smalling over injury setbacks

Chris Smalling is confident that he has completely shaken off the fitness problems kept him out of the start to the season.

The Manchester United defender did not play until November due to a broken metatarsal suffered in pre-season training, this injury coming hot on the heels of the groin problem that forced him out of the England squad for Euro 2012.

With 12 appearances under his belt since his return, the 23-year-old feels he is growing more confident with every game.

"I feel good, I've been able to play a few games now and it's just a case of keeping that going," said Smalling.

"The more games you have the more you get into a rhythm and the more confident you feel.

"I just want to stay injury-free now and hopefully go on a good run; there are lots of important matches coming up."

The England international faces strong competition for a place in Sir Alex Ferguson's back four but was back in contention for a place in as soon as his recovery was complete.

"It's been one of the worst (injury setbacks) I've had. It's never easy to miss the start of the season and then come back into it but I'm fortunate that I've started to get back into the team," Smalling added.