Manchester United defender Chris Smalling is confident he can slot perfectly into Louis van Gaal's first-team plans this season.
Van Gaal has made it clear he wants United to line up in the 5-3-2 formation he used during the latter stages of the World Cup with Holland.
With only three centre-halves on his books, Van Gaal has already admitted he needs reinforcements.
The former Holland manager is actively pursuing Thomas Vermaelen, Stefan de Vrij and Mats Hummels, although signing the latter is proving problematic as Borussia Dortmund do not want to sell another star this summer after losing striker Robert Lewandowski to Bayern Munich.
Smalling started 21 Premier League games last term under David Moyes, but he has looked sharp in both friendlies on United's tour of the United States and he thinks Van Gaal's system suits him well.
Smalling said: "Being part of that formation means you have a lot of responsibility.
"We really have to go out there and attack and be nice and aggressive. I would like to think that's my game.
"I played in a back three when I was younger, not since I turned professional, but we are all picking it up and enjoying it.
"Communication is key, but we get on well so that's not really an issue."
Manchester United: Potential summer transfer targets
Manchester United: Potential summer transfer targets
1/19 Arturo Vidal
The Juventus midfielder is among United's top targets this summer, particularly after impressing for Chile at the World Cup. Having helped his current team secure the Serie A title, Juventus aren't keen on letting him go.
2/19 Marco Reus
Rumoured to be near the top of United's target list, a possible swap deal involving cash and Shinji Kagawa has been mentioned. The Borussia Dortmund player would not be a cheap acquisition, especially given his recent declaration that he wants to stay at Dortmund next season
3/19 Arda Turan
Former manager David Moyes had been seen watching Turan, though his dismissal put a doubt over whether United were still interested. The winger's agent claims an offer has been made, so is the Atletico Madrid winger on his way to Old Trafford?
4/19 Arjen Robben
The Bayern Munich winger has said Van Gaal has offered him a place at Old Trafford if he wants it. Currently he's happy to stay where he is, but things can quickly change.
5/19 Claudio Marchisio
With Paul Pogba highly unlikely to be prised away from Juventus, United's attention could turn to team-mate Claudio Marchisio. The Italian international would provide some class and experience.
6/19 Mats Hummels
With defensive reinforcements high on United's list of priorities, Borussia Dortmund's Mats Hummels has unsurprisingly been linked with a move to Old Trafford. The German has been earmarked as the ideal replacement for the now-departed Rio Ferdinand and after his impressive showing at the World Cup, he's even more desirable.
7/19 Raphael Varane
Raphael Varane has already snubbed United once in his career, opting instead to join Real Madrid. It would surely take a big offer to prise the classy defender away now.
8/19 Seamus Coleman
Reportedly already the subject of a £15m bid, Seamus Coleman could be the man being lined up as the answer to United's problems at right-back.
9/19 William Carvalho
The Sporting Lisbon midfielder has reportedly been watched 15 times by Manchester United, although the £29m asking price could prove a stumbling block. The Portugal international has also been linked with Arsenal.
10/19 Xherdan Shaqiri
Bayern Munich winger Xherdan Shaqiri has struggled to force his way into the first team at the Allianz Arena and could be a target for United as well as rivals Liverpool. His impressive displays for Switzerland this summer could make it harder to prise him away.
11/19 Alex Song
Barcelona are understood to be ready to let the former Arsenal player leave this summer. Could provide some strength to United's midfield. Could also bring embarrassment judging by his behaviour at the World Cup.
12/19 Fabio Coentrao
Supposedly came within hours of signing in January, the Portuguese left back could be brought in to provide back-up to Luke Shaw.
13/19 Julian Draxler
A long time Arsenal target, United are reportedly interested in pinching the young German with a bumper offer. Seems unlikely though. Arsenal also strongly interested.
14/19 Sami Khedira
The Germany international is reportedly being pursued by a host of sides, and United might be wise to get in the mix as they look to add some quality to a fairly feeble looking midfield. Real Madrid appear open to letting him go with the 27-year-old having just one year left on his contract. Arsenal and Chelsea are among the others keen on signing the World Cup winner.
15/19 Edinson Cavani
The Uruguayan hitman would prove pricey and tricky to snatch away from PSG and it seems unlikely United have enough to offer him.
16/19 Luciano Vietto
The Racing Club youngster has been impressing in Argentina for some time although a move directly to United would be something of a surprise.
17/19 Santiago Arias
Should a move for Seamus Coleman fail, PSV defender Arias is reportedly being lined up by United. Played for Colombia throughout the group stage of the World Cup.
18/19 Miralem Pjanic
Rumoured to part of a joint bid including teammate Benatia, the Bosnian midfielder is reportedly another on United's large hit list.
19/19 Kevin Strootman
Van Gaal knows Strootman well from working with him in the Netherlands set-up and has indicated he is interested. Roma are reluctant to sell whilst his recovery from a knee injury may prove a stumbling block.
Van Gaal maintained his 100 per cent record as United boss with a 3-2 win over Roma on Saturday, but he was unhappy with his team's performance in Denver, accusing them of wasting possession.
Despite having just three days' rest after the World Cup, Van Gaal has wasted no time implementing the rules that he thinks will turn United into winners again.
The players have been told they must speak English to each other in an attempt to improve communication on and off the pitch.
Rectangular tables have been replaced with circular ones in the dining halls on tour so the players are more likely to chat and bond over meals.
Tour plans have been amended so United stay in hotels near to their training facilities and Van Gaal sits down with his coaches at 10:30pm every night to discuss the players' progress.
"It's all down to fine details," Smalling added.
"He has the whole overview - on how we play, how we take set-plays, how we eat, how we rest. He has that all in hand."
Smalling clearly admires his new manager greatly.
"He is a man who requires a lot of respect and we give him that because of what he has done and what he is like," the England defender said.
"We are all trying to impress him, whether it's in training or in the hotel with how we conduct ourselves.
"He is a man we can learn a lot from."
Smalling admits the team should not be immune from criticism despite recording their second successive tour win.
"At times we were a bit sloppy and we need to work on that to make sure that we tidy that up," he said.
But there could be no criticism from Smalling, or any of his team-mates, towards Wayne Rooney, who scored a stunning curler from 25 yards to put United ahead in Colorado.
"That's what special players can do," Smalling added.
"He turns there and you think he has nowhere to go, but then it's in the top corner.
"It's that kind of class we are going to need this year."
United flew to Washington DC on Sunday ahead of their next match in the International Champions Cup against Inter Milan, which takes place on Tuesday.
- More about:
- Manchester United