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Jan 25, 2013

Shelvey desperate to regain starting spot

Jonjo Shelvey has declared that he is happy to play at left-back if it means he can force his way back into Liverpool's starting line-up.

• Blog: Vultures circling Suarez

Shelvey's preferred position is central midfield, but he has also been used on the wing and as a striker by manager Brendan Rodgers this season.

The 20-year-old is set to be restored to the starting line-up for Sunday's FA Cup fourth-round trip to Oldham, having been an unused substitute for the last four Premier League matches.

Having made five league starts in a row during December, Shelvey's only action of 2013 so far was in the third-round cup win at Mansfield on January 6.

But he is hoping that his versatility will help him to regain a regular place in the side.

"This is Liverpool Football Club so I'd play left-back if it meant getting a game," Shelvey told the Liverpool Echo. "If the team is struggling for a left winger or a number 10 or a striker, the manager knows I can fill in there."

The midfielder admits that he has been frustrated at being left out of Rodgers' league line-up for the best part of a month. His last league appearance was in the 3-1 defeat at Stoke on Boxing Day.

He said: "I'm really looking forward to Sunday and if I start then I've got to take my chance.

"I haven't played in the league since the defeat at Stoke. That wasn't a great game for me personally but the team didn't play well either.

"Since then I'm the one who has suffered a bit with coming out of the team but you have to accept it.

"It's the manager's decision and I'm just working hard every day to try to get back in the team.

"I know I'm still young and I've played in 26 games already this season but that's not enough – I want to play more.

"I've been a bit ill this week but I'll be fine for Sunday and if I get some game time I need to prove myself."

Shelvey believes that playing in a number of different roles for Liverpool has helped him to improve.

"It's been good experience for me and it's helped me develop as a player," he said. "When you look at the likes of Steven Gerrard, he has always played in a variety of different positions.

"I'm not comparing myself to him, but it shows that it's good experience that will help me later on down the line in my career.

"Eventually I want to play centre midfield as I want to be more in the thick of things, but I'm happy playing further up the pitch and at the moment the manager sees me as a more attacking player."

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