Martin Skrtel vows to fight for place at Liverpool

Defender has fallen out of Brendan Rodgers' favour

Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel has vowed to fight for his place having fallen out of favour with manager Brendan Rodgers.

The Slovakia international lost his first-team spot to veteran Jamie Carragher, who is retiring at the end of the season, after January's FA Cup exit to League One Oldham.

He has started just one Premier League match - against Southampton when Carragher was injured - and has featured only three times since then.

Rodgers has been heavily linked with a move for Wales captain and centre-back Ashley Williams, with whom he worked at former club Swansea, in the summer.

That would put more pressure on Skrtel but the 28-year-old is determined to stand his ground.

"This is what happens in football and this time it was my turn," he told his official website, martin-skrtel.com.

"I have to respect it and wait for my chance and I hope my chance will come before the end of the season.

"Those who know me know that I will fight for my place in the team."

Rodgers knows he has to bring in quality in the summer if he is to bridge the gap between his side's current seventh place and the Champions League spots.

He has also been linked with Ajax's Denmark international Christian Eriksen, one of Europe's hottest young prospects.

And while the Reds boss accepts they do not have the finances to compete with some of Europe's biggest spenders, he has identified the players he wants to continue rebuilding.

"Like every other club you want to be making improvements constantly," Rodgers said.

"Unless you have absolute multi-millions to spend and make a big impact over one window then you have to do it over a number of windows.

"This will be another window which will be important for us in order to strengthen the group, to add quality to the group, because that can bring us up to another level.

"You have to be specific. You look at the profile of the players fitting into the way we want to work and then make sure they have the right mental characteristics to come into here.

"You can have players who are very good but can they play for Liverpool in their head? That is key for us going forward.

"We have to bring in players who will be mentally right and accept the challenge and not just be happy to be at Liverpool.

"To be at Liverpool means you have to be successful and you want to win things and we've no God-given right to do that. We have to earn the right and that is why we need those players who want to come in and earn the right."

Hanging on to striker Luis Suarez is also key to Liverpool's top-four aspirations next season.

The Uruguay international is the league's top scorer with 22 - he could become the first Liverpool player to score 25 in a league campaign since Robbie Fowler in 1995-96 - and has 29 for the season, which is why he is attracting interest throughout Europe.

Suarez only signed a new contract last summer and continues to stress he is happy at Anfield, and Carragher admits it is vital to hang on to the striker.

"He is one of the top players, not just in the Premier League but in world football," he told Sky Sports News.

"We are desperate to keep him. I'm sure he will be staying, I think he loves it here and the fans love him.

"It's not just Suarez, we have got lots of top players and we want to keep hold of them all. That is important for the club.

"Where we are in the league, it's important that we improve the squad and bring in some additions."

Suarez has not scored for three games but, after drawing another blank against West Ham last weekend, Rodgers insists his star man is not feeling the effects of a long campaign, during which at times he has carried the side single-handedly.

"What he maybe showed last weekend was he is human, but the level of his consistency this season has been incredible," added the Northern Irishman, who faces former club Reading tomorrow.

"He showed sometimes he is not always going to be nine or 10 out of 10. Luis may have not have been a nine out of 10 but he was certainly a seven for his work-rate and his intensity.

"From time to time he will have games like that but it just shows you the level he has reached this year, where he can still have a good game but because he doesn't score he is regarded as not being at as high a level.

"He has that mindset where he wants to play every game and we're certainly better off with him in the team than out of it."

PA

Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
art
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features staging of a playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
News
i100This Instagram photo does not prove Russian army is in Ukraine
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Sport
sportVan Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
Life and Style
Martha Stewart wrote an opinion column for Time magazine this week titled “Why I Love My Drone”
lifeLifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot... to take photos of her farm
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
filmReview: Sometimes the immersive experience was so good it blurred the line between fiction and reality
News
i100
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Environment
Tyred out: should fair weather cyclists have a separate slow lane?
environmentFormer Labour minister demands 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists
News
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices