Martin Kelly has admitted he would be happy to play as many games for the U21 side as possible to secure a return to peak fitness after enjoying a 90-minute run out in Monday night's 4-2 win over Manchester United in Salford.

Alex Inglethorpe gave Liverpool's No.34 the captain's armband and he produced a fine display at centre-half.

Kelly's main aim now is to get as many minutes under his belt as possible as he targets a return to his best form in order to challenge for a first-team place.

"It was good to get the first 90 minutes under my belt after so long," Kelly told

"I played last week in a behind closed doors friendly but to get 90 minutes for the U21s was superb for me and my fitness.

"I just want to get as many games in as I can. I missed so much last season and it's difficult mentally coming back from 11 months out and knowing you are not where you were last pre-season, because I started the last pre-season flying and that's where I want to get back to.


"It's all the hard work that starts now and in the next six to eight weeks I should get back to that fitness."

Kelly also had words of praise for Fabio Borini after the Italian international capped a fine display by netting two goals.

He added: "Fabio worked his socks off in pre-season and he got his rewards.


"It has maybe not gone his way in pre-season when he's had the chance but all he can do is crack on. You are only as good as your last game and I thought he was superb.

"It was a good team effort, Fabio did well for his goals and Jordon [Ibe] did well on the wing. We brought our attributes to the game and it was good to win, especially against United."

The England international admitted he enjoyed the responsibility of having the captaincy and helping Welsh youth international Lloyd Jones, who partnered him at centre-half, through the contest.

Kelly said: "I remember going back a few years when I was his age playing alongside a few of the senior lads. The reserve league was a lot different back then but it was a good experience.

"It was good to encourage him and I think all the young lads did well."