Premier League - Cleverley : I've not been good enough this season

Manchester United's Tom Cleverley says he has been "average" this season as the Premier League champions battle to keep themselves in contention for the title.

Premier League - Cleverley : I've not been good enough this season

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Tom Cleverley (PA)

The 24-year-old midfielder has come under fire from both United and England fans for a number of indifferent performances, but said he remained confident of hitting his stride during the congested Christmas period.

"At the moment, I feel like I've got more to give," Cleverley told United Review.

"I've had a few average games, a few more than I would prefer.

"But I felt this time last year was when I hit my best form of the season, when we were playing every few days.

"I'm the type of player who prefers that and, if I can get into a rhythm, then hopefully I can add more than just appearances to my record, I can also add some stand-out performances."

The United midfield has come under pressure for failing to control matches under new manager David Moyes, especially in the absence of the influential Michael Carrick, who has missed the past month through injury.

United, who travel to Aston Villa on Sunday, sit in ninth spot, 13 points off leaders Arsenal after 15 matches.

Cleverley is one of those who has been frequently criticised, having made 11 league appearances this season without scoring or providing an assist, and he said he was looking to improve all aspects of his game.

"I'm definitely developing the defensive side of my game and tactically the manager is teaching me a lot of things," Cleverley, who has played 13 times for England, said.

"Maybe the creative side of my game can improve a little bit too but I realise that's not my only job in the team and sometimes I've got to sacrifice that part.

"I felt Chelsea at home, defensively and tactically, was a mature performance and I thought I was having a really good game at Fulham before a bang on the head gave me double vision and I had to come off.

"I'd pick those two, and the really good team performance at Swansea on the opening day, as my best so far."

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