Skrtel welcomes competition as Liverpool look to tighten defence

Skrtel says defenders have a point to prove, and welcomes the high volume of defenders at the club.

Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel has welcomed competition for places at the club as they try to tighten up at the back following last season - where 50 goals were conceded in the Premier League alone. 

Skrtel was arguably the most impressive of the Liverpool defenders last season, appearing in 36 of Liverpool's Premier League games last season but many highlighted the deficiencies in the back line as the main reason the Reds missed out on their first league title since 1990 last season.

Skrtel is quoted in the Daily Mirror, saying: “Obviously it hurt but it’s not only about the back four, it’s about the team and defending as a group.

“Because we conceded 51 goals, some people are blaming the back four, but it isn’t just about the back line, it is about defending as a team and that’s the big thing that we need to improve."

The Slovak has said that the competition for places in the side has intensified, and he wants the side to cut down on individual mistakes - something which may see the tally in the goals against column drop significantly.

He added: "There’s a lot of competition for places but that can only be good for us as players because when you know that someone is waiting to play in your position it pushes you to show the manager how good you are.

"That can only be good for the team and it’s up to the manager who starts.”

The signing of Dejan Lovren this summer has added to the competition Liverpool have at centre-back. Mamadou Sakho signed for the club from PSG last summer whilst the experienced Kolo Toure also remains at the club. Daniel Agger's future, however, is in doubt after he reportedly told Brendan Rodgers he would like to leave the club.

Though one can't solely blame the defence for Liverpool missing out on the title last season, they have a point to prove this season. The addition of Lovren has shown signs of promise, but it's going to take more than that, and a lot of responsibility is likely to fall on Skrtel's shoulders alongside the Croatian international.

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