Roy Hodgson has again praised Chris Smalling for his fine performances in the Fulham first team.
He did well again, and he’s doing well for us.
Of course, the (Swindon) game suited him as they passed the ball well enough and there were lots of balls coming into the box in the air. This was the type of game we expect him to be good in, and he was pretty much fault-free throughout. He’s good on the ground as well.
He’s a 20-year-old and I’m keeping his feet on the ground.
The difference, strangely enough, between lower-league football and Premier League football is not as great as people like to make out in single games and in individual performances over a very short term.
The difference comes in people’s ability to do the job or produce the performance which they might be able to produce on a one-off occasion week after week at a higher level. They have to be able to produce that week after week and be able to play at that level of intensity.
I don’t know that the difference in individual matches is that enormous, and I think we’ve seen that. If you look at the results in games between teams in the lower leagues and Premier League teams, you are not seeing 5-0s or 6-0s, you are seeing single-goal victories.