Villa manager Lambert defends loanee Cleverley

Aston Villa do not have an agreement with Manchester United to start on-loan midfielder Tom Cleverley, insists manager Paul Lambert.

Cleverley moved to Villa Park on a season-long deal, and has appeared in 20 of the club's 24 Premier League outings so far in 2014-15.

With Villa struggling in 16th in the table with just 12 goals scored, it is proving a difficult campaign for Lambert and his side.

But the Scot has defended Cleverly, and says there is no truth to talk they have an arrangement with United.

"No, I don't judge whether somebody is on loan. You try and pick a team you think will win a game," he said.

"I don't pick it through anything else - that is nowhere near it.

"Tom is one of these guys who never hides from the ball. I never criticise anybody for looking for the ball if they make a mistake.

"It is the same with Carlos [Sanchez] as well and the Arsenal game.

"Tom never hides. He gives it everything he has got, everything to try and do well.

"He wants to do well here and sometimes that is part and parcel of football. It is not nice to hear."