Shelvey airs Reds frustration

Jonjo Shelvey feels as though he has been made a scapegoat for Liverpool's poor showing at Stoke on Boxing Day.

Last Updated: 05/02/13 at 10:10 Post Comment

Jonjo Shelvey: Looking to force his way back in

Jonjo Shelvey: Looking to force his way back in

The 20-year-old midfielder concedes that he was a long way short of his best during a disappointing 3-1 defeat at the Britannia Stadium.

Shelvey had, however, impressed up until that point, making 14 appearances under Brendan Rodgers and earning senior international recognition with England during a World Cup qualifier against San Marino in October.

He has, however, found himself out of favour since Christmas - making just two FA Cup appearances.

Shelvey is prepared to knuckle down and fight his way back into Liverpool's starting XI, but believes he can consider himself unfortunate to have been cast aside so suddenly.

Ahead of an outing for England Under-21s against Sweden on Tuesday, he said in The Independent: "I played against Stoke and obviously I didn't have too great a game.

"I had a few personal issues that were going on in my life. I didn't think I was the only one that had a bad game that day but I was the one that suffered, if you know what I mean.

"You just have to take it on the chin and work hard in training and try to get myself back in the team, which I'm trying to do."

Shelvey has hailed England and Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard as his "perfect role model" - and will be able to call on him for even more advice after becoming his new next-door neighbour.

England Under-21 and Reds midfielder Shelvey has just bought a house alongside the player he has always looked up to at Anfield.

He believes Gerrard fully deserved his FA England player of the year award and that he can only benefit from playing alongside the 32-year-old.

Shelvey said: "Steven has been first-class with me ever since I came into the club. I've moved in next door to him now which is even better because if you need any advice, he is always there.

"I get to see him quite a bit. I've not popped around for a cup of tea yet but he is always welcome to come around for a game of pool.

"He is just a great role model to learn from. You can't say enough about Stevie. He does his talking on and off the pitch. He lives the life of a proper professional footballer.

"His performances have been first-class and he has been my perfect role model since day one and someone every young player can learn from. He fully deserved his England award."

Shelvey believes Liverpool are starting to move in the right direction under Brendan Rodgers and is encouraged by the recent draws with Arsenal and Manchester City.

He said: "Things have now swayed towards one of our biggest rivals in Manchester United but we are pushing for fourth spot so we are trying to win every game.

"We felt we deserved to beat City but I think the title has gone towards United. There is still plenty of football to go though.

"We are still going to keep pushing for fourth place. Brendan is starting to really get his point across and it is starting to show in our performances.

"We had a blip at Oldham in the FA Cup but in the last two league games against Arsenal and Manchester City we've played really well and deserved to get six points.

"There have been steps in the right direction. In the past few weeks, we've gone on quite a run in the Premier League."

Shelvey also believes it is only a matter of time before Reds striker Daniel Sturridge becomes an England regular despite having to withdraw from Wednesday's international against Brazil through injury.

He said: "Since Daniel has come in, he has been so first-class. He is so sharp in and around the box.

"With his performances at Liverpool, he will start to get recognition and become a regular international as well."


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