Tom Cleverley is surprised critics are writing off Manchester United teammate Rio Ferdinand.

Following a superb display at Liverpool in the Reds' previous Barclays Premier League trip on the road, Ferdinand was at his vintage best again at Newcastle United.

"People were doubting Rio but he's had one bad game in about six months," Cleverley told MUTV. "He was fantastic along with Rafael, Patrice [Evra] and Jonny [Evans] for anyone doubting our defence.

"We have conceded a few goals due to some small mistakes this season but that's a team thing - not just the defence. I couldn't believe some of the stuff I read about Rio in the week. It's definitely not deserved is that."