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It seems as though Chris Smalling’s stock is rising. The young Fulham centre back has earned some high praise from England under-21 coach Stuart Pearce after his assured performance against Portugal at Wembley on Saturday.

Chris has impressed me everyday in training and have been saying for the last two or three matches that I have to get him a game. Maybe he was fortunate that James Tomkins was out injured, but he certainly took his chance.

Next he has to break into the Fulham side. To be fair with Brede Hangeland and Aaron Hughes, they have got two very sturdy central defenders.

But all the experience we can give him will help him as a player. He will improve, there is no doubt in my mind about that, because when you tell him to do things, he takes them on board and does them. Chris is a very bright kid, listens and that gives you something to work with.

Spot the mistake in the Teamtalk piece, by the way.