Skrtel admits Liverpool doubts

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Martin Skrtel has insisted he's ready to work hard to secure a first-team place at Anfield - but admitted he considered leaving Liverpool earlier this summer.

The Slovakian international has fallen down the pecking order under Brendan Rodgers, with the Liverpool boss bringing in Kolo Toure, Tiago Ilori and Mamadou Sakho during the window.

Daniel Agger has remained first-choice but Skrtel's been ousted, and he admits he considered leaving the Reds at one stage.

"I would be lying if I said I hadn't thought of leaving," he told Sport. "I have not enjoyed the situation I find myself in at all, but I still have a contract with Liverpool and am proud that I can continue to pursue a career at one of the most famous clubs in the world."

He claims he never attempted to engineer a move away from Liverpool despite Rodgers' plans to bring in several alternatives during the summer.

The Reds have maintained that they always wanted to keep him at the club, although Skrtel was strongly linked with a move to Napoli at one stage.

"I would not call them negotiations but I did consider my alternatives," said the centre-back. "I was linked to Napoli because of Rafa Benitez, and people thought that when he went I would follow him, but during our discussions Liverpool decided that I wouldn't be going anywhere.

"They were clear they wanted me to stay, and that's how it turned out."

The arrivals of Sakho and Ilori mean that Skrtel faces an even tougher test to hold on to a starting position, but he says he's not looking to escape the club in the January transfer window.

Instead, he relishes the competition.

"There are still a lot of matches before January," he said.

"And I don't think so far ahead. I prefer to live in the now. Since I came to Liverpool in 2008 I have become accustomed to the fact that there will always be at least four centre backs able to step in at any time. Everyone has a chance of playing and it is up to the individual how they deal with that."

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Martin Skrtel
Premier League

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