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Manchester United move down to Roy Hodgson - Smalling

Chris Smalling
Smalling has only made three Premier League starts for Fulham

Fulham defender Chris Smalling says he has manager Roy Hodgson to thank for his dream move to Manchester United.

The 20-year-old, who will join United this summer, was playing for non-league Maidstone until Hodgson brought him to Craven Cottage in July 2008.

"It's all down to the coaches and how well Roy Hodgson and Billy McKinlay have brought me up over the years," Smalling told BBC London 94.9.

"To have a manager like him show faith in you, it just gives me confidence."

Smalling was not used to full-time training until he joined the Cottagers.

"I was only training a few times a week at Maidstone," he said.

But after a meteoric rise at Fulham, which has seen Smalling make 10 appearances this season, including four starts in the Europa League, the young defender is thrilled to be moving to Old Trafford next season.

"To be mentioned with Manchester United and for Sir Alex Ferguson to take an interest in how I've been doing this season is a dream come true," he continued.

"I'm just going to go there, work hard and repay that faith they have shown in me."

Despite his excitement, Smalling knows he has to concentrate on finishing the season with Fulham.

"I think it is very flattering, but now I'm trying to take it all in my stride and carry on from where I left off," he added.

"Every time I step on the field I try my hardest and give 100% and hopefully I can carry that on when I join them."

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