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Skrtel laments substitute status

Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel concedes he is frustrated by being relegated to the bench in recent weeks.

Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel concedes he is frustrated by being relegated to the bench in recent weeks.

The Slovakian centre-back is currently sidelined with a thigh injury but is not confident of regaining his place in the Brendan Rodgers’ starting 11 once he has returned.

“It all happened after our match with Man United in the middle of January,” he told reporters.

“Before that match, we had won twice 3-0 in the league – at QPR and at home we beat Sunderland.

“In Manchester we lost 2-1 but I think that particularly in the second half we played very well. But he (Rodgers) told me we had lost the organisation of play in the defensive line and that this would be the reason why I would not play in the following matches.

“I don’t know which fixtures he spoke about because we had kept a clean sheet twice in a row and we won both matches. Also, we did not disappoint in the game against United.

“He (Rodgers) selects the line-up and picks the players who will be on the pitch. At the moment I’m not among the first 11. It makes me sad but the coach has decided this and I have to respect it. I have to wait, what else can I do?

“When I was healthy, I was training with the team, giving 100 per cent and doing all I could to prove to the coach that I belonged in the starting 11. However, now I’m injured and we’ll see what happens when I’m back fit.

“It’s hard to tell, but I would say it wouldn’t (change). The coach has his ideas about the line-up and the question is if I would be in it if I was fit. I would say it’s likelier I wouldn’t.”

Despite finding himself out of the first-team picture, Skrtel insists he will not rush to find a new club, although there has been reported interest in him from Anzhi Makhachkala.

“It would be useless to think about a transfer during the season even if it is true that you can move to Russia till the end of February,” he said.

“I have come across such views that it would not be correct to consider leaving a club where you have been on the bench in four or five fixtures. On the other hand, it is hard to put up with.

“I have had various thoughts but certainly I’m not going to make any hot-blooded decision. If the coach should lose interest in keeping me in his team, then we would have to handle it with my agent.

“For the present it is valid that I am at Liverpool where I have a long-term contract and I am not thinking about leaving.”

Mon 25 February, 2013
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