Cleverley warned over consistency

After spending various spells away from Old Trafford on loan,

Cleverley first caught the eye 12 months ago when he was an

integral member in United’s flying start to the season.

A succession of injuries curtailed that involvement and also

robbed the midfielder of his chance to impress new England boss Roy

Hodgson ahead of Euro 2012.

Now though, Cleverley has benefited from his Olympic experience,

finally won his first England cap against Italy earlier this month

and last weekend brought that form to the Premier League once more

as he helped inspire United to their first win of the season

against Fulham.

Carrick has always felt the 23-year-old was a player of

potential.

It is showing that on a regular basis which will determine how

far Cleverley will advance at the highest level.

“He’s got the talent and the ability – we’ve all seen that,”

said Carrick.

“He’s comfortable dealing with the pressures that come with

playing for the club. There is no danger about that.

“It’s just about keeping the standards high – we set the

standards and the hard part is keeping to that standard

consistently.

“There is no magic ingredient. It’s just about learning and

getting experience. The more games he plays the better he’ll

play.”

Cleverley has resisted the temptation to regard last term as a

wasted year.

Carrick though acknowledges those long periods on the sidelines

were a handicap the Yorkshire-raised player could have done

without.

At a time when the driving force of United’s midfield is still

being questioned, Carrick, who has been operating as an emergency

defender following a spate of pre-season injuries, feels Cleverley

offers an option that could come in very handy as the weeks tick by

in the battle for major honours.

“Tom is a very intelligent and clever footballer,” he said.

“It’s a shame the way his season panned out last year because he

started so well.

“He’s got a lot to bring [to midfield].

“That’s one of the good things about our midfielders. We all

bring different things when called upon which gives the manager

options.

“That is vital given how many games we’re hoping to play this

season.”