Chris Smalling insists he has “a very good relationship” with Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho despite seeing his bravery questioned this season.

Mourinho said of Smalling and fellow defender Phil Jones: “It’s time for Jones and Smalling to be brave – to [take a] risk – because for the team you have to do everything. You can’t do miracles but you have to try to do everything to accelerate the process.”

But the England international insists the comments from his boss are merely an example of his all-encompassing desire to win and to bring the best out of those around him.

He told Sky Sports News: “We speak very closely with the manager and we have got a very good relationship.

“All throughout my injury we spoke about the process and when I would be back so it is good that the manager wants you because ultimately he has got that decision of whether you play or not.

“You can take positives from it in that the manager wants you out on that pitch. He wants you to represent him and be that fighter and warrior for him.”

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