Shelvey targets United clash21/09/2012 - 10:00:49
Liverpool midfielder Jonjo Shelvey hopes he has played his way into the team to face Manchester United on Sunday after his two-goal salvo in the 5-3 Europa League win over Young Boys.
The 20-year-old’s impressive 23-minute cameo in the second half turned the match in the visitors’ favour after they had trailed 3-2.
Manager Brendan Rodgers insisted on Wednesday, despite leaving eight senior players at home and making 11 changes for the European game, that places were still up for grabs for this weekend’s Anfield encounter.
And Shelvey hopes he has done enough to book what is likely to be the one vacant slot in midfield alongside the returning duo of Steven Gerrard and Joe Allen.
“I hope I’ve played my way into the team for Sunday but you never know what’s in the manager’s mind,” he said.
“The manager, ever since he’s been here, has been first class with me and given me an opportunity and I felt coming off the bench and scoring two goals repaid him.
“It is what dreams of made of. Games don’t come much bigger for Liverpool than Manchester United at home.
“The atmosphere will be electric and I want to be a part of it.”
Even though he does not turn 21 until February, Shelvey was one of the more experienced players on show, making his 45th appearance.
In a team which contained three debutants in 19-year-old Andre Wisdom, who also scored his first goal for the club, Suso, 18, and summer signing Oussama Assaidi, Shelvey was frustrated not to be in the starting XI.
“I was disappointed to start the match on the bench but it was great to get the two goals and get the win,” he added.
“It is a big occasion every time you play for a club of Liverpool’s size and it is an honour to play for them, even if you are coming off the bench.
“Liverpool has a lot of history and it is great to go down in that history.
“There has been competition ever since I came to the club and it’s something I relish.
“You have to keep going out there in training and trying to prove you are one of the better ones.”
Rodgers’ second-string side surprised everyone with five goals, just four short of what the club have managed in nine games so far this season.
Shelvey thinks that may boost confidence in the camp, although he admits the defensive errors committed was less positive.
“It was a great game for the neutral but the boss was not happy we conceded three away from home,” he added. “But we’ve come out and made a statement that says we can score goals and we proved that.
“People labelled it as a weakened side but the team is going to give 100% whoever is out there; it was a great performance from the younger players.
“It was good to come away from a place like that with all three points”.
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