David Moyes believes Tom Cleverley can earn himself a place in England's World Cup squad next summer if he keeps up the improvement he has shown at Manchester United in the last couple of weeks.

Cleverley did not start the season well and, along with Ashley Young, was picked out for criticism after some indifferent performances as United struggled, though Moyes believes his contribution to the side is often underestimated.

"He's played well in the last two games," Moyes said. "He has passed the ball well, got himself a goal and might have had another after 30 seconds in the last match [against West Ham].

"You can see from his stats what he gives the team with his passing and his running. He is playing with more confidence but the whole team needed to step up, not just Tom. Now we have put together a few good results, more and more of the players are beginning to perform much better."

With Michael Carrick and Marouane Fellaini injured, Cleverley is likely to keep his place in the United midfield in the Boxing Day early kick-off at Hull.

Moyes believes Cleverley would be an ideal World Cup tourist because of his versatility. "I think he is the sort of player Roy Hodgson would like to take with him," he said. "He will need players who can get around people, who are willing to do two or three different jobs, and I'm sure Tom would really like to be part of that.

"We certainly like him a lot. He's great at the training ground and, for a young lad, he's quite experienced now.

"Sometimes people may have looked at what he can't do rather than what he can do. He works really hard for the team, he doesn't give the ball away too often, the only thing we keep telling him about is that he needs to score more goals. He's been playing quite deep and we are trying to get him a bit further up the pitch now, try and get him into the box more often. He's got the energy and the drive."

Cleverley is not actually all that young, at 24 he is arguably in mid-career, though 24 was the average age of the United side at the weekend and Moyes intends to lower it further in the near future.

"This club has always been renowned for promoting young players, putting them in, giving them a chance," he said. "It is important to protect young players while they are developing, though there is also a part of the process where you have to say now is the time to stand up and show us what you can do. Here's your opportunity now take it.

"We are a young team now, Phil Jones is still young, so is Tom, Adnan Januzaj is in the team just now, also Chris Smalling. I'm hoping to add to that as soon as I can and build a really young, powerful team.

"For the moment though I am much happier with the way we are playing. By the end of January I'd like to be much closer to the top of the table than we are now. If we want to catch the others we will obviously need them to make mistakes, but first we have to do our job right."