Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley hopes he can continue to reproduce his impressive club form on the international stage and believes having so many fellow Reds around him in the England squad can only help his development.
Cleverley, who only made his Three Lions senior debut seven months ago, has been part of Roy Hodgson’s plans ever since. Indeed, he’s started in each of England’s last eight fixtures, including last Friday’s 8-0 demolition of San Marino.
Now the 23-year-old hopes to make his mark in Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier against Montenegro, in an England squad that contains six Manchester United players and could well have included two more – Rio Ferdinand and Phil Jones – were it not for injuries.
“When you see the current squad, seven of us got picked [Ferdinand pulled out to manage his fitness],” Cleverley told English media in Montenegro. “It’s the biggest [United contingent] it has been for a while. You have Phil Jones to add to that.
“We are obviously proud of that fact. We must be doing something right for our club. Hopefully we can carry on that form for England as well.
“It is good that we all know each other and how each other play. It is good for Manchester United as well that there is a good core of English players who are doing well... Sir Alex also wants us to play well so we will gain confidence when we go back to the club.”
Despite becoming a fixture in England’s midfield in recent months, Cleverley is under no illusions that his spot in Roy Hodgson’s side is guaranteed.
“Definitely not. Every time we meet up I know I have to train hard. I am thankful to the manager that he has picked me a lot this year. But there are some fantastic midfielders as well so I don't take anything for granted.
“It’s only natural for big games like this [against Montenegro] that everyone wants to play. Those who aren’t will be disappointed. But coming off the bench and helping the team to win is part of the job, too.