Skrtel praise for Kelly
Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel has praised the development of Martin Kelly into a first choice right-back.
Last Updated: 25/01/11 4:34pm
Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel has praised the development of Martin Kelly from youth player to first choice right-back.
The 20-year-old has become highly regarded since breaking into the first team this season, also taking Glen Johnson's place on the right side of defence despite being traditionally a centre-back.
In a season of struggle for the Reds, Kelly is one bright ray of hope for the younger players at Anfield, whose last player to really break through to become a mainstay on Merseyside was skipper Steven Gerrard ten years ago.
The England Under-21 international has had to come into a faltering defence with the likes of Skrtel and Johnson coming in for criticism in their performances against the likes of Blackburn, Blackpool and Everton this month.
But despite not being able to prevent the Reds from being beaten, his display in the FA Cup against Manchester United at Old Trafford demonstrated his potential.
Skrtel admits that Kelly has taken his opportunity with both hands since new boss Kenny Dalglish brought him in, and has lauded his ability to perform so consistently despite the problems the club have had recently.
"Martin's done very well for the club," he added.
"He's like a new signing for the club because that's four on the spin he's played now.
"He's earned it and it doesn't matter what age you are, if you are performing you'll have a chance of playing.
"It is impressive when you come into a team that isn't playing as well as it can and you play as well as he has done."