sport

Rodgers: Kelly will get games

Manager Brendan Rodgers expects Martin Kelly to be a valuable member of his Liverpool squad next season.

The young defender has only featured 15 times since Rodgers took over at Anfield with a serious knee injury curtailing a promising run at the start of the 2012-13 season.

He was sidelined for more than a year and struggled to earn a place in Rodgers' deeper squad this season with only two starts, both of those coming in the FA Cup.

Kelly featured in the end-of-season friendly with Shamrock Rovers last week and Rodgers feels he will come into his own next year when Liverpool have the added, but positive, fixture congestion a return to the Champions League provides.

"Martin has been really unfortunate," Rodgers told Liverpoolfc.com. "He was out for a year, he came back this season and at the beginning of the season we put him into some games.

"But as the season wore on and we were concentrating on one game a week, it was very difficult for him to get games.

"He's a quality player and he's a good guy as well - he knows the club inside out. He's been around for a long time and the game against Shamrock Rovers was his first game for a number of months.

"He played at centre-half, as opposed to right-back, where he has played a lot. He's a good guy and there will be games next year for the likes of him to come and play in if we continue to qualify in the competitions."