Chris Smalling claims clean sheets will be key to Manchester United enjoying success this season, after a stuttering start to their Premier League campaign.

Jose Mourinho’s Red Devils have conceded seven goals in their opening three matches, before a thoroughly morale lifting 2-0 shut-out against Burnley at Turf Moor last weekend.

At this stage last season, United had registered three clean sheets but only two goals, and ended the season in second with clean sheets in half their league matches.

“Last season we picked up a lot of clean sheets and this year we’ve conceded early goals,” Smalling told MUTV.

“We need to get back what we’ve done in the last few seasons when we’ve conceded very few goals, like on Sunday.

“It was down to us players to stand up tall and get a result, and we’re very happy with the win.

“With us not having a game in the week, we’d been able to work on a lot of patterns of play and you could see them coming out and finishing with the goals, so we were happy with that.”

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