• Premier League

Cleverley: I've been average this season

ESPN staff
December 13, 2013
Tom Cleverley has come in for criticism for his displays this season © Getty Images

Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley has admitted that some of his performances have been "average" this season - but said he would play better if he was an automatic choice.

Cleverley, who came off the bench in Tuesday's 1-0 Champions League win over Shakhtar Donetsk, has been starting alternate games recently.

But he accepted that he has not played to his potential often enough in this campaign as the United midfield, particularly in the absence of Michael Carrick, has struggled.

He told United Review: "At the moment, I feel like I've got more to give. I've had a few average games, a few more than I would prefer.

"But I felt this time last year was when I hit my best form of the season, when we were playing every few days.

"I'm the type of player who prefers that and, if I can get into a rhythm, then hopefully I can add more than just appearances to my record, I can also add some standout performances."

Cleverley feels two of his best displays came in August, when United beat Swansea 4-1 and drew 0-0 with Chelsea.

He added: "I felt Chelsea at home, defensively and tactically, was a mature performance, and I thought I was having a really good game at Fulham before a bang on the head gave me double vision and I had to come off.

"I'd pick those two, and the really good team performance at Swansea on the opening day, as my best so far."

The 24-year-old has been alternating with Phil Jones, Ryan Giggs and Marouane Fellaini in the middle of midfield since Carrick was ruled out with an Achilles injury.

He said: "Any team in the world who had Michael Carrick would feel the loss - there's no denying that. But it has given a chance for other players to play and step up to the plate."

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