"I don't think the players have lost focus". The players are a bit better than what people think and I am a bit better than what people think.
They need a win against Spurs at Wembley on Saturday to stay on course for the title with United hosting West Brom on Sunday having boosted their hopes of finishing second after this famous derby victory.
Guardiola congratulated the 25 year-old after his heroics during the game.
'I am so, so happy with what we have done this year, ' he said.
Smalling said a few words from Mourinho during the half-time interval helped inspire them to victory.
"He needs that confidence because he knows, I know, he had some performances not at the level of expectation we have from Paul". At the end of the day, they scored three goals and we scored two, and that's what counts.
"If we did we would be up there [in the league] with City, and maybe even in front".
Smalling continued: 'We got here in at half-time feeling sorry for ourselves and we knew that we would have liked to play with delight within the second half. Second half they arrive twice and score two goals. For Manchester City, it was a minor blip on the road to the league title, but a bigger reminder of the flaws that are slowly coming to the fore in their team, and that is something for Guardiola to address going forward. We had a lot of quality and goals in the first half but you have to defend a little better from set-pieces.
What sparked all the controversy was when his agent Mino Raiola lashed out against Pep Guardiola.
In a revelation that further exposes the breakdown in relationship between Pogba and Jose Mourinho, Guardiola dropped a transfer bombshell on the eve of Saturday's Manchester derby. I'm not interested which is the liar and which is the honest guy. That did not work for them in the first half against City, a team that thrive on being given more of the ball. 2-0 down and struggling to collapse in the face of relentless pressure from arch-rivals Manchester City, there didn't seem to be a way back.
Following the game, Smalling faced the Sky Sports cameras and revealed how Mourinho had addressed his troops during the break, spurring them on and sending them back out to battle.
"If (City) won they are champions", the United midfielder said.
"To lose against City and to see them celebrate, I couldn't let that happen". We win together and we lose together.