Roberto Martínez backs Man United’s Tom Cleverley to bounce back
Wigan Athletic boss Roberto Martínez backs Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley to bounce back from a difficult week
Roberto Martínez has backed Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley to bounce back from a disappointing performance for England in midweek.
The 23-year-old missed two chances to score for the Three Lions in a 1-1 draw with Ukraine, and Roy Hodgson replaced the midfielder midway through the second half.
But Martínez, who worked with Cleverley at Wigan, is confident the United midfielder will recover from the setback, with the Latics set to make the trip to Old Trafford on Saturday.
“If anything, Tom is going to want to be better in the next game,” Martínez told the Daily Star.
“He has already shown he is a top player. You can judge players not by the chances they miss, but whether they are prepared to go back into those situations to get a scoring opportunity again.
“I guarantee Tom will get into those positions time and time again.
“He’s a tremendous example of the future of English football.”
Hodgson used Cleverley in an advanced midfield role behind Jermain Defoe for England’s games against Moldova and Ukraine, but Martínez believes the United youngster is capable of playing in many different positions.
“He is mature beyond his years and can play in many positions,” added Martínez.
“The role he played for England was completely different to the one he plays for Manchester United, which is different to the one he played for us.
“Sometimes it can be a negative to be able to play in a number of positions.
“Some players are a jack of all trades but not special in any of them.
“Tom is special in what he does, while understanding other roles within the team just as well.
“But if you were to ask what is his best position, I’d say central midfield.
“I think that Manchester United always saw him as that – even while he was here.”