Tottenham v Liverpool: Makeshift left-back Jon Flanagan hopes hard work will persuade Brendon Rodgers to keep him in the first-team
20-year-old Flanagan has started the last four matches on the opposite flank to his natural position but he hopes he can impress enough to stay there with Jose Enrique out injured until February
Friday 13 December 2013
Liverpool defender Jon Flanagan hopes he can enjoy an extended run in the side well but admits he cannot allow his standards to drop.
The right-footed 20-year-old has started the last four matches as a makeshift left-back, having been initially given a chance in that position in the 2-0 defeat at Arsenal in early November.
With Jose Enrique not set to return from knee surgery until February and on-loan Aly Cissokho failing to impress, the academy graduate has found himself with little in the way of competition in manager Brendan Rodgers' back four.
That could change should the Reds boss switch to three centre-backs, which he did earlier in the campaign but in the meantime Flanagan is just hoping to retain his place.
"After playing a couple of games on the bounce, you feel more involved and feel part of the squad," he told liverpoolfc.com.
"You feel a lot more confident when you're in the squad.
"I take it game by game; I've got to continue working hard. If I keep getting the opportunity to play, I've got to take that chance.
"To be picked ahead of them (Martin Kelly and Cissokho) is great and shows that the manager has got trust in me.
"I've got to do everything I can to keep my place in the team and keep them out.
"My aim is to always play as well as possible and help the team keep getting points.
"I want to keep playing and, if Jose comes back, I'll just keep working hard and see what happens."
Fellow defender Mamadou Sakho is also hoping to keep his place on Sunday at Tottenham after scoring his first goal for the club against West Ham last weekend.
The £16million summer signing has been in and out of the side so far but was brought back when Daniel Agger felt ill in the hours ahead of the game.
"There is competition but the most important thing is that all the players make themselves ready and available for the group, help the team to grow and help Liverpool get back onto the European stage," the France international said.
"They are all experienced players and so I can only learn from working alongside them; as a youngster I can benefit from their experience.
"That said, of course I'm working really hard to earn my place in the side, like every player. It's been going well up to now."
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