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Skrtel: Liverpool Will Be Ready for Added Pressure

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The season ultimately ended in disappointment for Liverpool, but Martin Skrtel is confident that lessons learned from their second-place finish will prepare them well for another title challenge and a return to the Champions League.

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Michael Steele

Martin Skrtel spent most of last summer tipped for a move away from Liverpool after his relegation to the bench in the wake of the loss at Oldham. Both he and Sebastian Coates were overrun that day by a physical Oldham side, and it seemed clear in the aftermath that neither were going to be long for Liverpool. That might still hold true for Coates, who was, at minimum, going to spend last season on loan before a knee injury sidelined him for most of the season.

But Skrtel now looks set to continue on at Liverpool after a remarkable turnaround; rumored moves to Russia or Napoli never materialized, and after Kolo Toure fell injured ahead of the Manchester United win back in September, the Slovakian stepped in and never looked back, starting every remaining Premier League match. His form largely held out, adding seven goals (and a further four in his own net, a new record) along the way as part of a Liverpool side he expects to challenge again next season:

"The record we had in the year, of winning 11 games in a row was amazing. We beat Arsenal 5-1, United 3-0 away from home and Tottenham 4-0 at Anfield. They were great results and great performances. I think the way we played this season was great and I'm just disappointed that we couldn't win the league.

"It was a great experience for every single one of us. We've showed that we can be competitive with the big teams and I think that in the games we have played against the big teams, we have performed better. So I think that's a good experience for next season. There will be bigger pressure on us, because other teams will be ready for Liverpool. But I think there's quality in this team and that we can carry on this way for next season as well."

It might not be too surprising to see him linked with a move away again this summer, but once again, little is likely to materialize, even if rumors about Brendan Rodgers' interest in a more commanding central defender pan out. Like Daniel Agger and Lucas, Martin Skrtel is probably a player that you keep around unless a big-money offer comes in, as he's one of the few in the current squad that's experienced the pressure that comes with competing in multiple competitions and Liverpool actually having success.