Manchester United manager David Moyes has hailed under-fire midfielder Tom Cleverley - labelling the 24-year-old as a "fantastic young player" in Friday's pre-match press conference.
Moyes was speaking about Cleverley after he was asked about an online campaign to ban the midfielder from England's World Cup squad.
The petition, which was also criticised by England manager Roy Hodgson, accused Cleverley of producing "inept" displays and has been signed by 15,000 people.
However, Moyes has no doubt that the England international is on course to develop into a fine midfielder.
"Tom Cleverley is a fantastic young player who is developing all the time," he told reporters. "He is a great trainer and is someone who is first out and every day does his best in training."
Last month, Cleverley told reporters that he felt he had been made a scapegoat for Manchester United's troubles this season, but backed himself to silence his critics.
“I have got to look at those people. I have learned to take it with a pinch of salt and I’m sure it will make me stronger for the rest of my career,” he said, shortly before deleting his Twitter account following a torrent of abuse.
Manchester United fans: Do you agree with Moyes? Is Tom Cleverley good enough to play for the Red Devils?