Cleverley: I lost this crucial skill at United but Villa are bringing it back

Tom Cleverley

Tom Cleverley says that Aston Villa are trying to make him more incisive after he lost that side of his game at Manchester United.

Tom Cleverley has revealed that Aston Villa are trying to encourage him to take risks, after he lost that side of his game at Manchester United.

The pressure to be perfect at Old Trafford meant that Cleverley often ended up taking the safe option but, out of the spotlight, he is looking to bring an edge back to his game.

The England international says that Paul Lambert and Roy Keane are working hard to encourage him to be more incisive in possession and that he is enjoying the switch.

"At United you’re told to play the right way and sometimes last year maybe I was being a bit too much of a perfectionist," he said to the Independent.

"Sometimes you can take a few more risks, which are needed to win games. That’s a side of my game which Roy and the manager are getting back into me and that comes with playing football every week. I really feel that’s happening, I feel like I’m playing at 100 per cent again and I’ve got that tempo back.”

Cleverley's career at United had come under scrutiny after he put in a number of mediocre performances over the past year. 

His displays in the middle of the pitch were lacking in quality and the problem only seemed to worsen as his fragile confidence continued to get dented, meaning a move to Villa is likely to be good for all involved.

Indeed, the 25-year-old says that he is enjoying life with the Claret and Blue after what was a frustrating year at Old Trafford last year.

“It’s what it’s all about, just to get back to basics and playing again on a Saturday,” he says. “Every footballer wants the best opportunity to play and I felt like it was here. My first four games have been tough but I’m playing at the top level week in, week out, and I’m enjoying myself."

He has joined a Villa side full of confidence, making his move seem even better at the moment.

Although they were expected to struggle against the drop, Lambert's men are currently placed inside the top half of the league after a really positive start to life.

They take on Manchester City later today as they look to continue to build on some impressive early performances and the resurgent Cleverley is likely to be key to their chances if they are to pull off a shock victory. 

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch