Cleverley hopes to emulate Scholes for England

The 23-year-old says he remembers watching his club team-mate at primary school during World Cup 1998 and says the veteran is a great player to learn from at Old Trafford
England midfielder Tom Cleverley hopes to emulate Paul Scholes in a playmaking role for the national team as he looks set to continue run his run of having started every World Cup 2014 qualifier.

The 23-year-old now plays and trains alongside Scholes for Manchester United but remembers watching him score for the Three Lions at World Cup 1998 while at primary school.

Now, 15 years on, Cleverley is in line to start against Montenegro in Podgorica on Tuesday night as England face their most significant rival for top spot in Group H and a place at next summer's finals in Brazil.

"With Scholesy at United it's more a case of just watching and learning rather than speaking to him," Cleverley told reporters.

"But on the pitch I can learn a lot of things from him, the way he plays his game from short to long. He's a great person. He's a great example for me to have around.

"Obviously he is one of the best in the world, and has been for many years, at keeping the ball. Not only just keeping the ball but hurting teams as well.

"The first World Cup I remember was France '98. Mostly it was sitting at home, watching it on TV but for the first game we sat down at primary school together.

"I do remember that Paul scored that day - and now, of course, I train with him."

Despite being the only ever-present among outfield players in Roy Hodgson's starting line-up on the road to Rio de Janeiro, Cleverley is yet to score his first international goal.

He acknowledged that he had another positive role model in that regard, however, after fellow midfielder Frank Lampard became the second-highest scoring midfielder in England history against San Marino.

"Obviously I was a bit frustrated not to score against San Marino," he admitted. "I'd like that first England goal, it's what every lad dreams of.

"I suppose I can't have anyone better to learn off than Lamps who got on the scoresheet again. I'm just looking to perform well, keep playing in the team and hopefully the goals will come.

"Maybe in my early couple of England games I got a bit nervous because I was so desperate to impress. Now I equally want to impress as much but I would say I am more excited than nervous.

"It's only natural for young players. In my first few United games, I was a bit nervous. Now you feel settled in.

"It's been a big couple of weeks for me, playing against Brazil, Real Madrid and Chelsea. These are the type of games I want to be playing in and I'm really happy with that."