Fit again Cleverley aims to play important role in United's title run-in
12:57 GMT, 31 March 2012
Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley is anxious to avoid the tag of being injury prone.
Cleverley looked like being one of the stars of the season after making such an excellent start to the campaign.
Unfortunately, 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.
Back: Tom Cleverley hopes to play his part in the Premier League run-in
Even then it was not the end for Cleverley's problems as he picked up another foot injury on Europa League duty against Ajax that condemned him to another fortnight on the sidelines.
Now the Bradford-raised midfielder is back and keen to play a central role in the Premier League title run-in.
'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.
Break: Manchester United took a trip to St Andrews this week
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.'
An element of freshness is important, with even Sir Alex Ferguson believing his players are going to benefit from a change of scenery having opted to take his squad to St Andrews for a couple of nights.
The location might appeal to Cleverley, a keen golfer. But he recognises there are more important matters to attend to.
Crocked: Cleverley has struggled with injury this season
And to that end, he feels Paul Scholes' presence could turn out to be crucial.
'I can learn a lot from Paul,' he said.
'He has been the best midfielder in the country for the last 15 years.
'Like Xavi with Barcelona at the minute, so Paul is to us.
'He is a great player and gives me good competition for a place in the side.'
A relentless trophy-gatherer like Ferguson is unlikely to let his players rest on their laurels.
But if they were considering that as an option, Cleverley believes the memory of that 6-1 annihilation by Manchester City in October will ensure it does not happen.
'It is good for the city that both teams are doing fantastically well,' he said.
'It does increase the pressure and does seem to be the only thing anyone is talking about right now.
'It has been massively competitive all season and even though we won there in the FA Cup, we still remember the 6-1.
'Hopefully we can win at their place and secure the title.'