Martin Kelly focused on Liverpool return

Shane Long, Martin Kelly
© PA Photos
Liverpool defender Martin Kelly insists that his focus must be on returning to the Reds' starting XI after 10 months out through injury.

Liverpool defender Martin Kelly has insisted that finding form and fitness at Anfield must come before dreams of playing for England at next summer's World Cup.

Kelly earned his sole Three Lions cap during Roy Hodgson's first game in charge last year, but has since spent 10 months out with a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament.

Ahead of a first-team return in a friendly against Preston North End today, the 23-year-old has admitted that he is playing catch-up, with the focus on repaying the faith shown by Reds boss Brendan Rodgers.

He told The Mirror: "The World Cup is certainly an incentive, with Roy being the England manager, I'm sure he will be looking.

"But for me, at the start of the season, I just need to concentrate on doing well for Liverpool. I need to show why Brendan Rodgers gave me the new contract. I need to give Brendan and Liverpool something back and show why he has faith in me.

"My first target is to get my fitness up, crack on and get back to where I was at the start of last season. In football, things can change quickly. If I take my chance again and do well, then I'm sure the England manager will be watching."

Liverpool are expected to field a strong side in their first friendly at Deepdale this afternoon, including new signings Kolo Toure, Simon Mignolet, Iago Aspas and Luis Alberto.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers during the match against Zenit St Petersburg on February 21, 2013
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