• Premier League

Cleverley: I don't need to adapt for Van Gaal

ESPN staff
August 6, 2014
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Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley says he will not need to adapt in order to slot into Louis van Gaal's system when the season starts as he sets out to prove his doubters wrong.

Cleverley's team-mates have talked about getting used to the manager's new 3-5-2 formation but the England international claims he already has.

Despite starting just 18 Premier League games under David Moyes last season and missing out on the World Cup squad amid criticism of his performances, Cleverley has taken a positive approach to the Van Gaal era and sees himself as one of the "passers" vital to the Dutchman's preferred system.

Cleverley said: "Under the new manager we are being told to think of things as a team but personally it has gone well. I definitely think I can fit into the way he plays. I don't think I have got to make much adaptation because he likes passers, movers, and people who understand the game.

"I'm not here to talk about David Moyes. We've got a clear way we are going to play under the new manager. We all believe in that, we are all following that and the main thing is we are playing as a team again.

"I've got minutes under my belt out here, I feel fit, we've won every game, one of them on penalties. We're back being a top team together."

Cleverley's form was heavily criticised last season with the 24 year old made a scapegoat by some United fans. A petition suggesting he should be banned for the World Cup emerged and, despite England manager Roy Hodgson's support, he was ultimately left off out of the squad for Brazil.

"It [criticism] makes you develop a lot thicker skin," Cleverley said. "You've just got to take it on the chin. It's football. Fans are passionate and they like to see their team win. When their team isn't winning, they've got a right to look at the team. I will use it as a learning curve and not dwell on it as a negative.

"I got a bit of stick. It does hurt when it comes from your own fans, I suppose it would anyone really. I definitely want to prove a few people wrong."

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