Reds pair aid Kelly progress
Martin Kelly has revealed how Jamie Carragher and Steven Gerrard are pushing him to be the best he can be.
By Ben Collins
Last Updated: 09/03/11 2:34pm
Martin Kelly has revealed how Liverpool greats Jamie Carragher and Steven Gerrard are pushing him to be the best he can be.
The 20-year-old full-back had made just one start for the Reds before the current campaign but he has truly made the first-team breakthrough this term.
Not only has the Whiston-born defender earned an extended run but his form has been such that he has remained in the side, racking up 22 starts already this season including 10 in the Premier League.
Some minor injuries have prevented senior pair Carragher and Gerrard playing as big a role as they have over recent years.
But they have been helping Kelly get to grips with what is expected at Anfield as the youngster aims to establish himself as a Reds regular.
"It has helped me having people like Stevie and Carra around," Kelly told the club's official magazine.
"They talk to you all the time - to try to test you out, see if you are mentally tough enough to deal with the expectations. It has been a good experience for me.
"It makes you realise quickly, if there was any doubt, the pressures of getting three points for a big club.
"They just want you to be the best and not give anything less than 100 per cent. It's nothing personal if they get on your back. It's the three points that count."
Kelly suffered a hamstring injury in last week's 3-1 defeat at West Ham, ruling him out of Sunday's 3-1 win over Manchester United.
But he played the full 90 minutes of the FA Cup defeat at Old Trafford while featuring in both wins against Chelsea, and the recent injury blow has helped keep Kelly's feet on the ground.
"Playing in the kind of games I have recently, then getting injured, has made me realise how short your career can be," he added.
"One minute you're in the team playing against Ryan Giggs in front of 75,000 people, the next you're in the treatment room and can't even play a game in the park.
"It will be over before I even know it so I need to make sure every match counts."