Cleverley: City taunts motivate United

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Football News

After Manchester United lost their Premier League crown to local rivals Manchester City this season, Tom Cleverley has revealed how he has been the recipient of jeers on the streets by fans from the blue side of Manchester.

However, the 22-year-old midfielder says the City taunts will be used as an incentive as Sir Alex Ferguson's side attempt to regain the title next year, and is ready and raring to begin the Old Trafford fight back in 2012-13.

"The motivation is there, massively," he told the Daily Star. "It's our neighbours, our rivals. Nothing needs to be said to motivate ourselves.

"Football seems to be the only ­talking point in Manchester at the minute. When your neighbours are your main rivals for the league, you can't really get away from it.

"We've taken some stick from the fans in the street. A few 'Man City' shouts, that sort of thing. You have just got to grit your teeth and keep your head down.

"It hurts, but it would be even sweeter to take it back next ­season. There's been a bit of ribbing come our way, but to get our own back would be twice as nice."

Cleverley was one of the first ­United players to realise City had won the title in those frantic few minutes of injury-time at the end of the season.

The Red Devils had completed their job and beaten Sunderland 1-0 at the Stadium of Light, and with QPR holding City at the Etihad Stadium the title looked to be swinging towards Old Trafford.

But, in the most dramatic of fashion, two late goals by Roberto Mancini's side secured the Citizens' first English title for 44 years, much to the dismay of everyone associated with United.

"To be in and amongst it first hand was a new ­experience for me," Cleverley continued. "I'd never been involved in the ­Premier League title race before.

"It was one of the craziest five ­minutes I've ever experienced and I was devastated at the end of it. I was in the stands, in the ­directors' box, with a few of the other ­players. We had the City game on a little screen.

"We knew it was 2-1 in the 90th minute. We went back down to the changing room to see what the ­manager had to say and while we were on the way they scored.

"We went into the press room and saw Paul Merson going mad on TV because City had scored again. It ­obviously felt as though someone had ripped my heart out.

He added: "It was a hard day. I knew before most of my team-mates who played in the game. It was horrible. As a team, we were just gutted in the changing room.

"But that pain will make us fight even harder next year. It's a club that's famous for coming back when it's down. That's what we intend to do next year.

"There will be a lot of hard work in pre-season to make sure that we're ready. This is a club of winners.

"I've been here long enough to know there's something wrong when it doesn't win anything. We will be looking to put that right next year."

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Premier League
Manchester United
Tom Cleverley

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