Tom Cleverley hopes to spark scoring flurry after banishing goal woes in Manchester United cup win

By Dean Wilkins

After notching his first senior goal during Manchester United’s win against Newcastle yesterday, Tom Cleverley is hoping to spark a flurry of goals.

The 23-year-old midfielder bounced back from a shocking first-half miss to find the net with a wondrous curling effort in the 58th minute to help United edge out 2-1 victors.

And after finally breaking his goal duck, the England international is raring to add to his tally and help inspire the Reds to lifting the Capital One Cup, but in the fourth roud draw they were handed a nightmare clash against Premier League leaders Chelsea.

“It’s been playing on my mind a little bit because I’ve always scored goals when I’ve gone out on loan but I’ve not been doing it for my club and country,” he said.

“The gaffer gave me a bit [of stick] at half-time for missing the chance in the first half so it was nice to stroke that one in. Hopefully that sets me off on a run now.

“I practice those sorts of finishes a lot in training with Rene [Meulensteen] and when it came to me from Danny Welbeck I always knew what I was going to do. Luckily it found the back of the net.

“I’ve got that first one now and hopefully more will come.”

And while United’s three-pronged attack consisted of first-team regulars Wayne Rooney, Welbeck and Chicharito, there were four debuts for United youngsters in defence and midfield.

“It was quite a young team but I thought everyone did fantastically well,” Cleverley added.

“I think all the young lads can be pleased with their performance – there won’t be many tougher strike forces to play against than Newcastle’s in a physical sense.

United were captained by Scottish international Darren Fletcher, who made his first appearance for the club this year after battling back from a career-threatening bowel illness.

“It was fantastic to have both Rooney and Darren Fletcher back as well,” Cleverley continued. “Fletch is a big-game player who can bring positive things to any squad in the world and Wazza came back and put in a great performance.

“We’ve been a bit unlucky with injuries but that’s what we’ve got a squad for – as players get injured, others are coming back.

“There is good competition in the squad at the moment and we’re winning games so it’s all good.”

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