Key quotes from Tom Cleverley after Watford defeat Manchester United
Tom Cleverley is seizing his chance back in the starting eleven at Watford

Watford romped to a 4-1 victory over Manchester United thanks to goals from Joshua King, Ismaila Sarr, Emmanuel Dennis and Joao Pedro on Saturday and former United midfielder, Tom Cleverley was at the heart of the Hornets display.

Having spent 15 years at Manchester United in their youth and first-team set-up, Cleverley came back to haunt his former employers with a commanding midfield display that brought him accolades from peers and pundits alike.

Taking his chance

In completing just his second full 90 minute appearance of the Premier League season, Cleverley has been forced to watch many of Watford's displays from the bench but speaking to VAVEL after the game, he struck a reflective tone,

"It's been a frustrating time for me. I feel like when I've been in the side the results have been decent, so to be frozen out, but to have such a spell on the sideline has been frustrating.

Today was my chance, my first start under the new manager and all you can expect from me is to try my best in every game and sometimes it's good enough, sometimes it's not.

I've been on the side lines under him so far and hopefully I've shown him what I can do today."

Whilst never at the forefront of statistics for goals or assists, Cleverley showed everyone exactly what he is still capable of.

With an energetic and box-to-box display, Cleverley frequently lead the full-pitch press and working well with Moussa Sissoko in a midfield 5 to stifle a United attack and launch counters for the Hornets.

Bitter-sweet victories

The win, however, proved bitter-sweet for Cleverley, who won the Premier League in 2013 with Manchester United and retains close ties with the club.

"It doesn't make it extra sweet for me. It's obviously not nice to see some of your old friends struggling.

Obviously I've been there, under pressure, low in confidence, but in a selfish way, it's three points for Watford, it's a massive three points for Watford, especially with the other results today and the important thing is consistency in our performances now."

During the interview Manchester United's manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjær demonstrated their close ties with a laugh and a joke as Solskjær passed by. However, the laugh was fleeting as the loss proved to be the final nail in the coffin for Solskjær as he dismissed less than 24 hour after the final whistle.

More to come

Whilst Cleverley may have been forgiven for thinking his playing career was also coming to an end with long spells on the sidelines in recent times, Saturday showed that he is still as competitive and capable as ever. 

And with two newborns at home, coaching badges in progress, and performances like this still in the locker, one might think that Cleverley is only just getting started.

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