Dirk Kuyt accepts that Kenny Dalglish's attempts to build a Liverpool squad capable of regaining UEFA Champions League football, means that increased competition for places could potentially result in less playing time.

The 31-year-old Dutchman has been a virtual ever-present for the Reds over the past few seasons, but has started only half of Liverpool's games this term.

Kuyt admits that he has been disappointed to find himself restricted to the bench at times this campaign, but says it has made him even more determined to establish a regular place in the side.

"From childhood, I've always been disappointed when I'm not in the team because I'm desperate to be involved and make a good contribution," he said. "But it also makes me very determined too.

"I need to continue to prove myself, train as hard as possible and, when I do play, make sure my performance is of a high standard.


 

"Competition is tough now but it's brilliant for the club that there are so many players to choose from now, top-class international players. The players realise at the end of the day you need more than 11 good players to be successful."

Kuyt has netted 67 times in 247 appearances for Liverpool, and finished last season as Anfield's top goalscorer with 15 goals. But despite an impressive individual return, Liverpool endured a disappointing campaign, though the forward is confident things are back on track this year.

"When I first arrived here we had a very good, big squad" he continued. "But for the last two seasons before this one, we haven't had the depth that we did in the first three seasons.

"Someone like Craig Bellamy is a strong addition to what is already a very strong squad, and that can only be good for the team. We definitely have better quality now and more players to choose from as well.

"I think with the signings we've made, we have a great squad now so we should be ambitious and have confidence in ourselves."

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Football
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Dirk Kuyt
Liverpool