New deal for Skrtel
Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel has signed a two-year extension to his contract, the club announced this morning. The Slovakia international had two years remaining on his previous deal but has now committed to Anfield until 2014.
His decision to re-sign is further good news for new manager Roy Hodgson after pledges of allegiance from star pair Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres over the summer. Skrtel told the club's website: "Before I came here a lot of people thought I wasn't good enough to play for Liverpool, but I think I have shown I am.
"I'm happy to try and carry on giving good performances and doing my best for the club. Signing a new contract gives me confidence and I will work hard in training every day to play as many games as possible. You can always improve. I know the good and bad parts of my game and I will keep working."
Skrtel, 25, joined the Reds in a £6million move from Zenit St Petersburg in January 2008. He has since established himself as one of the club's first-choice central defenders alongside Jamie Carragher.
Skrtel missed the end of last season with a broken foot but recovered in time to feature in Slovakia's impressive FIFA World Cup™ campaign. The mood at Liverpool has been transformed since the arrival of Hodgson in July, with the signings of Joe Cole and Milan Jovanovic also lifting spirits after last season's disappointing seventh-place Premier League finish.
Skrtel added: "Lots of things have changed at the club this year with new players, a new manager and new medical staff. The spirit is very good and we showed that against Arsenal with a great performance. We can build on that and carry it on.
"We have quality in the dressing room and I know we will do better this year. A club like Liverpool deserves to win trophies and I will help them do that, hopefully this season.
"Everyone plays football to win trophies. Playing for Liverpool is a big motivation for everyone and we will do everything we can to win the Premier League. We have the highest targets - to win everything."