The Manchester United youngster has revealed he and his team-mates are still stung by the painful memory of last season's final-day Premier League title heartbreak
United have surged 15 points clear of City in the title race, and the bitter rivals are set to collide in the semi-finals of the FA Cup, should Sir Alex Ferguson's men overcome Chelsea on Monday night.
And Smalling has revealed he and his team-mates have been driven on by the pain of losing the Premier League title in the final seconds of the final day of last season.
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“It’s at Wembley as well, so it would be a massive occasion. But we need to make sure we get past Chelsea, which won’t be easy.
“It would be the ultimate revenge to beat City to the Premier League title and knock them out of the FA Cup, especially after last year. It would be sweet.
“It’s drilled into everybody at the club to use the disappointment of last season. None of us want that feeling again.
“It was horrible and we had all summer to dwell on it. So, it’s nice to be in a position now where we can hopefully make it count.
“Everyone finished last season disappointed, but as soon as the first day of pre-season came about, everybody was firing.
“New players came in and we’ve shown, with our spirit, that we don’t want to experience the same feeling again.
“It’s about how you react to disappointments and the manager wanted to see that reaction. If I get my chance, then I’m going to take it.”