Woodgate: Smith can fill the hole after Larsson at Man Utd

Woodgate said: “Larsson has been brilliant throughout his career and scored goals, so he will be missed by United, but I’m sure they will bring Alan back into things now.

“He’s a mate of mine, so I know he’s had to wait very patiently for his chance and hopefully he will play against us in the replay. I’m sure the texts will start flying between us in the build-up to the game. I know I’ll not get any peace if we’re up against each other at Old Trafford.

“He’s still a top player. People may say United are weaker now Larsson’s left and I suppose they are in terms of numbers, but Alan can fill that hole and become a big player for them again. He’s got the talent and attitude to come back better.

“He’s always been tough mentally, and I’m sure the injury won’t have affected him. You have to be strong to be a professional and he showed just how much he could handle things when he moved from Leeds to Manchester United.”