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Jonjo Shelvey has explained how he asked Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers that he be considered for U21 fixtures in an effort to maintain his fitness until the end of the season.
With the manager strengthening the options available in his squad during the January transfer window, the 21-year-old has made only four appearances for the first team in 2013.
But the midfielder has started the last two U21 fixtures for Alex Inglethorpe's youngsters and revealed that playing time - at either level - is always his motivation.
"I played against Manchester United and then Southampton the other night," Shelvey told Liverpoolfc.com.
"I just want to keep playing games because there's nothing worse than training all week and not playing at the weekend. It's a case of getting myself some games and keeping myself ticking over.
"I was told I was playing against United for the U21s. I thought it was because they were against a bigger team and they're doing so well, I might help the team get a win.
"After that, I said to Brendan: 'If there are any other games that fit in with the schedule, can I play in them?'"
Featuring for the U21 side has provided Shelvey with a closer view of the youngsters hoping to follow his footsteps into the senior team - and the Londoner says Liverpool fans should be excited.
Asked who has caught his eye in recent weeks, he said: "There are a few.
"The boy in midfield, Joao - I think he's going to be a great player. Suso has dropped down and played well the other night.
"They've got a great team and there's some great young players; I watched the Youth Cup game the other night.
"Liverpool fans should be excited for the players that they've got coming through, and hopefully they can progress and get themselves games in the first team."
After an emphatic victory at Wigan last weekend, Rodgers and co welcome rivals Tottenham to Anfield this Sunday in a fixture which could revitalise the Reds' hopes of Champions League football.
Having scanned the remaining games and assessed their opponents, Shelvey believes a top-four finish is still a possibility.
"We had a meeting the other day, before the Wigan game, and said that we've got to look to get 10 wins out of the last 11 games. If we beat Tottenham, it's doable," he concluded.
"If we get the three points, which we're more than capable of - and against Chelsea as well - then, in my opinion, fourth spot is not out of the question."
Author: @shawct Tagged:
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