Sport

Tom Cleverley hopes to build on his promising Olympic opening performance and secure London 2012 medal

By Matt Simpson

Manchester United  and Team GB midfielder Tom Cleverley is looking to build on his promising 90 minute start last night, despite a disappointing opening draw against Senegal.

He hopes to prove his match sharpness to both Team GB manager Stuart Pearce and United’s Sir Alex Ferguson, after a gloomy season blighted by injury at the Premier League runners up.

Cleverley, 22, was impressive on loan at Wigan for the duration of the 2010/11 season but his involvement in United’s ultimately trophy-less campaign this year was curtailed due to several foot injuries, a fact that is an obvious source of frustration for the player.

He said: “To come away with nothing this year was a bit disappointing and we’re looking to put that right.

“You see people like Giggsy and Scholesy with all their medals and you want to be exactly like that. To not win any in my first season and how it happened was really disappointing.”

However, having missed out on a spot for the European Championships earlier this summer, the creative midfielder has made excellent progress to force his way into Pearce’s Team GB squad.

It is thought Manchester United are happy for him to kick start his season at the Olympics as any game time against some of the stars on show will only benefit him and the club.

He said: “Sir Alex Ferguson has given his best wishes to me coming away.

“I think he’s happy with me coming here as I was a bit short of competitive games last season, so it’d be good preparation for me for the rest of the season, playing in front of big crowds and top-class opposition.”

After securing a place in the squad, and now the starting line up, his aim now is to secure a medal.

Cleverley said: “I’ll be working my hardest for the team to try and win a medal.”

Team GB began their Olympic campaign against Senegal last night in a 1-1 draw at Cleverley’s home ground of Old Trafford.

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