Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has called on Tom Cleverley to find the back of the net more often after the 23-year-old scored a fine goal during his side’s 3-1 victory over Sunderland.
The midfielder curled a delightful effort past Simon Mignolet after 19 minutes to add to Robin van Persie’s opener as the Red Devils finished the day six points clear of rivals Manchester City.
However, despite grabbing his second of the season, the manager feels Cleverley should now be adding more goals to his game due to his impressive finishing skills.
“[Cleverley] has goals, as a younger player there was always a goal in him. It was a great one-touch finish – he’s got two this season and I really do expect more from him because he’s a nice finisher,” he told Sky Sports News.
The 70-year-old also praised Cleverley’s midfield relationship with Michael Carrick, as the pair combined well for the youngster’s strike in the first half: “Last week [against Manchester City] they were terrific and today they were terrific.
“It gives me great options because people keep saying we’re short in midfield, but we’ve got [Paul] Scholes, [Ryan] Giggs, [Darren] Fletcher, Carrick, Cleverley, Anderson – we’re not so bad.”
Sir Alex was delighted with the link-up play between his players, but was also wary of the threat Sunderland posed in the second half as Martin O’Neill’s side searched for a way back from 3-0 down.
He continued: “It was fantastic football, some of the play was great. Combination play, interchange play, the second goal epitomised that play.
“I don’t know whether we relaxed or Sunderland picked up the baton towards the last 20 minutes, but they had two or three chances and did very well in that period. They had a bit of momentum and I was just glad to get the result.
“I’m happy we’ve won the match but I think we should have scored more goals but you’ve got to give credit to Sunderland to keep going.”
And with Nemanja Vidic making his return from a knee injury in the second half, the United manager revealed his relief at having a full roster of defenders to choose from once again to challenge for trophies.
“It’s great to have him back and all our defenders are fit. That collection of defenders will definitely help us,” he added.
“The name of the game is to win games now – to get momentum going, get consistency going, and hopefully we’ll keep going.”