Liverpool defender says spell out of side has strengthened his character

Liverpool Ball

Martin Kelly is looking forward to next season after injury has hit his chances in the past two campaigns.

Liverpool defender Martin Kelly has said the long injury layoff and subsequent omission from the side he has endured has strengthened his character.

Kelly sustained a cruciate ligament injury in the early stages of the 2012/13 season and has seen very little game time since with no European action for the Reds, along with the side unexpectedly chasing the title.

But the 24-year-old feels he will get his opportunity next season.

He told the Liverpool website: “The last few months have been difficult. It was about being able to understand that you can’t play in games when we’re playing one game a week.

“But it’s definitely strengthened my character. I’ve just kept my head down and I’ve been trying to do extra work after training and in the gym.”

Kelly first came into the side under Rafa Benitez with a couple of Champions League appearances but featured more under Roy Hodgson and Kenny Dalglish. Two years ago he was part of the England squad that went to Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine, so there is definitely some quality about the defender.

One gets the sense that just as everybody is about to see the best of Kelly, there is another injury that blights his progress and becoming a very good and influential centre-back or right-back.

Undoubtedly he has talent but he could do with regular appearances in the first team to get himself back to full fitness, rather than the odd start and substitute appearance that was handed to him during the last campaign.

He is perhaps one person that would benefit from a loan spell to get himself up to speed but it seems there could be a few changes around the defensive set-up next season as Brendan Rodgers looks to tighten up at the back. That could be an opportunity for Kelly to get his career back on track if he impresses during pre-season.

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