Robson wants Cleverley to build on that and take a firm grip of the Reds' midfield.
"Yaya Toure can have a huge bearing on a big match as we've seen before, so it was vital for someone to look after him," Robbo told the Manchester Evening News.
"Tom gives you great energy levels and plays at a high tempo. That was needed in the derby and he never let up.
"He is always on the move, finding space and demanding the ball and gets into areas to receive it. That style is great for United. It suits our game.
"Being the central midfielder of two in a 4-4-2 is his best position. But what that does call for is someone who closes people down.
"Tom is very much a box-to-box player and he can do that job but I think it needs a bit of tweaking.
"He is strong going forward but if you want to be that dominant figure in a central two, you also have to be a decent defender.
"It is only nitpicking in a way but if you want to be the best then you have to improve on the little things all the time.
"It only needs a tiny bit of improvement but if he can work on it and he wants to be an out-and-out central midfielder then he can become a top, top player."