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The England international midfielder admits he has been hurt by recent criticism of his performances, but believes there had been a misunderstanding of his role in the side

Tom Cleverley insists he has been unfairly branded as the scapegoat for Manchester United’s disastrous season.

After Saturday’s demoralising draw against struggling Fulham the champions lie nine points adrift of fourth-placed Liverpool ahead of Wednesday’s meeting with Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
 
England international Cleverley, 24, has been singled out for criticism from sections of the Old Trafford support with abuse reaching a crescendo during a recent twitter question and answer session with his team-mate Michael Carrick which descended into farce.

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"When I first started getting singled out, it stung, yeah," Cleverley told the Daily Mirror. "But it's something you have got to learn to take when the team is not doing well.

 "I would like the fans on my side and it hurts a little bit when you have grown up at the club and love the club every bit as much as the supporters.

"But there are other people in the current United squad who have been through this kind of thing and they have made sure their quality shone through.

"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.

"I feel I've been made a scapegoat a little bit. A few people in the media certainly seem to have a perception of me not doing much in the team.

"Don't get me wrong, I know I can do better but people are making a big thing about how I don't score enough goals when that is not necessarily my first job in the team."

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