Smalling reacts as he now has to play under Mourinho again

Playing under Jose Mourinho is never an easy ordeal, as the Portuguese has a way of putting players under unnecessary pressure — Luke Shaw will write a full book on this topic.

Meanwhile, former Manchester United defender Chris Smalling will have to work under Mourinho having once worked with the Portuguese during his time at Old Trafford.

Contrary to popular beliefs that Smalling will frown at Mourinho’s appointment as Roma boss due to their checkered relationship at United, the 31-year-old has admitted that he is up for the challenge and is glad to be working under a top coach at Roma.

Mourinho once accused Chris Smalling of being unwilling to play through the pain barrier, but Smalling is ready to look beyond that.

Speaking to the BBC, as he addressed his relationship with Mourinho, Smalling said: “Ultimately, if the manager wasn’t speaking about you and didn’t want you to play and push, that is when you need to worry because he has stopped caring about you, he doesn’t want you involved and he doesn’t want you to play.

“He is a born winner. He likes to push everyone to the limits. That is what he has done throughout his career and it has reaped results.

“It was quite a surprise to a lot of us, but there was initial excitement from everyone.

“I knew the media would build up something about our relationship in the past. But from a personal point of view, it is a good thing because I have played under him.

“We have won trophies together. He made me captain in one of those finals – the 2017 EFL Cup final – as well, so having the chance to play under someone who you know is good, has been so successful and is so determined to win trophies at all costs is a positive.

“I know how big a deal it would be to bring a trophy of some sort to the club. Jose’s history shows the club has picked the perfect man to do that.”