Martin Skrtel is not setting targets or eyeing any long-term goals for this season other than to hold down his place at the heart of Liverpool's defence.

The Slovakian featured sporadically for the Reds during the second half of the 2012-13 campaign - and he began this season looking on from the sidelines.

However, Skrtel returned for Liverpool's 1-0 win over Manchester United at Anfield and has remained in the starting XI for the games that have followed.

The 28-year-old has turned in a string of solid performances - and he's keen to maintain those high standards going forward in order to cement a place in Brendan Rodgers' team.

"My aim is to stay in the team and start games," he told "I think that's not only the ambition for me but the aim for every player.

"We have 25 players here and every one could start. I will try to do my best and we'll see if I can stay in the team.

"Of course I'm happy at the moment, because every single player wants to play. Last season I didn't start a game during almost the entire second half of the season and so it wasn't a good period for me.

"I was focused in pre-season and I tried to do my best and show the manager that I was ready to play. I'm starting now and hopefully I can stay in the team for as long as possible.

"If there is competition for places, it pushes you to work hard every single day and in every single game. That will be the aim at the moment.

"I don't think it matters who is starting. Everyone wants to play, but it's up to the manager who is playing. Each of us try to do our best for the team and try to help the team win the game.

"Everybody is enjoying things at the moment because we have started the season well and we are playing well and winning games.

"We are second in the table and so it's been a good period for every single player in the squad. We'll try to carry on this way in the future."

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Skrtel has started the last two games as one of three centre-backs in Rodgers' defence, alongside summer newcomers Mamadou Sakho and Kolo Toure.

The No.37 the team has adjusted to this system well - and insists the formation is one that the Reds can revert to if necessary over the remainder of the campaign.

"Obviously it's a little bit different, but for us as defenders it's still the same structure," said Skrtel.

"We know what we have to do on the pitch and we know what the key to defending is. So we try to do that. I don't think it's a big difference between three at the back and four.

"We've played two or three games in this system and it was working, so if we're we still playing like that in the next for few games, I hope it's going to be working as it is now."