Liverpool have missed European football, says Martin Skrtel
Martin Skrtel says Liverpool have missed European football ahead of the first leg of their Europa League play-off against Hearts
Martin Skrtel admits Liverpool have “missed” European football ahead of the first leg of their Europa League play-off against Hearts on Thursday.
The Reds were noticeable absentees from European club competitions last season, with Kenny Dalglish’s side solely focused on the Premier League, FA Cup and Carling Cup.
Liverpool have not competed in the Champions League since 2009-10, and Skrtel admitted his delight at returning to the European stage, with Brendan Rodgers now at the Anfield helm.
“I think everybody has missed European football,” Skrtel told Liverpool’s website.
“This season we’ll play in the Europa League which is a great competition for us and I’m glad we got through against Gomel.
“Now the next round is in front of us and we want to get through to the group stage.
“European nights at Anfield are always special. The atmosphere is unbelievable. That’s something you’ll always remember and I definitely want to experience this atmosphere again.”
The Slovakia defender, who signed a new long-term deal at Anfield on Tuesday, is confident that Rodgers’ squad is strong enough to cope with the demands of both domestic and European football.
“We have a strong squad with more than 25 quality players and everyone can play. It’s not a problem,” he added.
“Everyone is enjoying playing the games and it’s no difference if you’re playing Premier League or Europa League because everyone is enjoying playing for this club.
“There’s a long way to go. It is August now and we’ve got plenty of games to play and we cannot look at games in May – we have to look at the next game tonight and get a good result.”