Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley has claimed he has been made a "scapegoat" for the club’s current troubles and has vowed to prove his critics wrong in what is left of this Premier League season.
Cleverley has received criticism aplenty from United supporters on social media platforms in recent months, with the one-time rising star of the club’s midfield now being chastised as one of the reason’s for their stuttering form.
In an interview with the Daily Mirror, the 24-year-old England star accepted he can improve on his current form, as he admitted the negative comments that have come his was have been difficult to deal with.
“I feel I’ve been made a scapegoat a little bit,” Cleverley said. “A few people in the media certainly seem to have a perception of me not doing much in the team. Don’t get me wrong, I know I can do better but people are making a big thing about how I don’t score enough goals when that is not necessarily my first job in the team.
“When I first started getting singled out, it stung, but it’s something you have got to learn to take when the team is not doing well. My job goes under the radar at times. I am not a player who’s going to beat three or four people and stick it in the top corner or go round tackling people like Roy Keane.
“I would like the fans on my side and it hurts a little bit when you have grown up at the club and love the club every bit as much as the supporters, but there are other people in the current United squad who have been through this kind of thing and they have made sure their quality shone through.
“I have got to look at those people. I have learned to take it with a pinch of salt and I’m sure it will make me stronger for the rest of my career.”
Cleverley has started four games in 2014, suffering defeat in all of them -- against Tottenham and Stoke in the Premier League, Swansea City in the FA Cup and Sunderland in the Capital One Cup.