JONJO SHELVEY has vowed to repay the faith shown in him by Brendan Rodgers after signing a new long-term deal at Liverpool.
The 20-year-old midfielder, who has clocked up 37 appearances since arriving from Charlton two years ago, is delighted that his future remains at Anfield.
“I am really happy,” he said. “Last season I was itching to try and push for a new contract. Now it’s happened and I am ready to kick on again now.
“It’s lovely to know I am in the plans for the future. At the moment it’s just about getting things right each day and proving myself to the gaffer here. The gaffer and his way of playing will suit me down to the ground.
“I want to get into the first team and be in the starting XI on a permanent basis. That’s going to be hard, but it’s something I’ve got to work towards.”
A week into pre-season, Shelvey is enjoying life under the new manager.
“With all the passing drills he’s doing, he’s encouraging us to play all the time which is nice for a football player,” he said.
“Instead of doing a lot of long distance running and things like that in pre-season, everything has been with a ball which is more enjoyable.
“Everyone is buzzing because he likes to play football. That’s what people want to do and what fans want to see – nice, attractive football. Hopefully we can bring that to Anfield this year.
“I’m buzzing to still be at Liverpool and I want to show the fans what I can do.”
Shelvey, who benefited from a loan spell at Blackpool last season, believes he has come a long way over the past two seasons but says there is still room for improvement.
“Going away to Blackpool helped me a lot as it gave me some experience, I scored some goals and I came back a better player,” he said.
“Kenny (Dalglish) gave me a chance towards the latter stages of the season and I thought I showed what I can do.
“Tactically I have become a lot better and technically too. When you’re working with people like Steven Gerrard and people like that, you’re learning things day in, day out and it’s an honour. There are still things in my game I want to work on and I’m going to keep doing that.
“On the physical side of my game, I’m going to be in the gym every day and I’ve got to speak to the gaffer to see what else I can work on.”