Belfast Telegraph

Cleverley does not want tag

Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley is anxious to avoid the tag of being injury prone.

The 22-year-old injured a foot at Bolton in September and was then just two games into his comeback when he hurt an ankle at Everton that ruled him out for a further three-and-a-half months. He then picked up another foot injury on Europa League duty against Ajax that condemned him to another fortnight on the sidelines.

"It has been a bit stop-start," he told MUTV. "I don't want to get the tag of being injury prone, I have just been a bit unlucky. The knock I got against Ajax was just something else compared to what I have been out for the rest of the season with. Now I am fully ready."

On a couple of occasions it has seemed as though Cleverley was about to gatecrash England's Euro 2012 plans.

His relative lack of appearances mean Cleverley might have to shelve that idea.

However, he is eligible for the Olympic squad later in the year and there is also the little matter of a first championship medal, which will be secured if United win all their remaining matches.

It is all new for Cleverley of course but he does take strength from the vast experience of others in the Red Devils dressing room.

"It does help that others have done it all before," he said.

"It gives young players confidence when you have guys who have 15 or 20 years' experience playing next to you.

"The mix of youth, hunger and enthusiasm for your first and second medal, with the experience of 10, 11, 12 is just right."

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