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Aug 6, 2014

Tom Cleverley: My style suits Van Gaal

ESPN FC's Gary Bailey discusses how Louis van Gaal's coaching style will affect Manchester United and comments on Wayne Rooney's assessment of the manager.

Tom Cleverley believes he can fit into new Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal's style of play without significantly changing his own game and has vowed to prove his critics wrong this season.

- Smith: Summer tours reveal ugly truth

The midfielder was part of a Manchester United team who struggled as they finished seventh in the Premier League.

And a petition asking England manager Roy Hodgson to omit him from the World Cup squad was signed by more than 10,000 people.

PREMIER LEAGUE PREVIEWS

As we count down to kickoff on Aug. 16, ESPN FC previews all 20 teams in this season's competition. Can Burnley, QPR and Leicester stay up? Will the new signings of Alexis Sanchez, Diego Costa and Adam Lallana help usurp Man City's crown? Will Manchester United get back on track under Louis van Gaal?

But Cleverley is determined to cope with criticism better and hopes to become stronger from his experiences, telling national newspapers: "I've got to use last season as a learning curve rather than just dwell on it. I've learnt a few things, off and on the pitch.

"It makes you develop a much thicker skin, and you've just got to take it on the chin. It is football.

"Fans are passionate and they like to see their team win, and when their team is not winning they have got a right to look at the team.

"And, yes, I got a bit of stick and it does hurt when it comes to your own fans. But, like I said, I'm not going to dwell on it.

"I suppose it would give anyone an extra edge really, though, so yes, definitely, I want to prove a few people wrong this season."

Cleverley was a surprise choice by Van Gaal to captain United in their 3-2 win over Roma in the International Champions Cup during the club's preseason tour of the U.S., and the 24-year-old believes he can suit the Dutchman's style of football.

Key European club fixtures

French Ligue 1 -- Aug. 8
FA Community Shield: Manchester City vs. Arsenal -- Aug. 10
German Super Cup: Borussia Dortmund vs. Bayern Munich -- Aug. 13
English Premier League -- Aug. 16
Spanish Super Cup: Real Madrid vs. Atletico Madrid -- Aug. 19 and 22
Spanish La Liga/German Bundesliga -- Aug. 23
Italian Serie A -- Aug. 30

He added: "Under the new manager we are being told to think of things as a team but personally it has gone well.

"I've got minutes under my belt, I feel fit, we've won every game -- one of them on penalties -- and I think as a team we've got to look at it that everyone has got minutes, we've gained confidence and we're back being a top team together.

"It's an exciting new start for the players. And hopefully we can carry this form into the new season.

"I definitely think I can fit into the way he plays. Everyone has got to adapt to the way he wants to play, but I don't think I have got to make much adaptation because he likes passers, movers and people who understand the game and I feel that I am a thinker on the pitch so hopefully I will do well under him."

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