Chris Smalling insists resurgent Manchester United are ready for this week’s crucial showdowns with Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester City.
The Reds travel to Italy this week for Wednesday’s Champions League away tie at Juventus – a game they dare not lose. Four days later they travel to the Etihad to face Pep Guardiola’s title holders.
United have conceded first in four of their last five games but defender Smalling has no fears about facing in-form Ronaldo or City.
He said: “We know we’re going into a very tough week now but we can come out with some good results and it can be seen as a good month, considering it was probably one of our toughest months, especially a tough month now and potentially after the international break.
“We need to take the second half performance that we had against them at home and we need to do that from the off and we’ll give them a good game and get chances.”
United will be hoping neither Juventus nor City – who have scored in all but on of their 14 domestic games this season – do no draw first blood yet again.
Smalling went on: “I think we have been known for shutting up shop and not conceding many goals so this season has been very unusual to what I have experienced.
“We need to work on that because normally we don’t concede many and we win the game. It starts at the back and as a team collectively and we will be working on it every day.”