Aurelio plans fitness boost

Reds stopper determined to put injury woes behind him

Aurelio: Determined to boost fitness ahead of new season

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Liverpool defender Fabio Aurelio is determined to work hard over the summer and put his injury problems behind him ahead of the new season.

The Reds squad are not due back for pre-season training until early July, but the Brazilian plans to put in extra hours in order to boost his fitness.

The 31-year-old has struggled with injuries during his five-year stay at Anfield and that persuaded then manager Rafael Benitez that he could not risk offering the player a contract extension last summer.

However, with cover so desperately short at left-back Aurelio was surprisingly re-signed by Benitez's successor Roy Hodgson at the end of July as a quick-fix replacement.

Disrupted

It was a decision which did not pay off as the defender played only 21 matches as injuries once again disrupted his season, leaving the side having to fill in with makeshift left-backs Daniel Agger, Danny Wilson and Glen Johnson on several occasions.

But Aurelio hopes that with the extra work he will do over the summer and a full pre-season programme, he will be of more assistance in the final year of his contract.

"I expected to be more available once again but it was good to finish with a 90-minute game (at Aston Villa on Sunday)," he said.

"I have to prepare myself better than the normal work they give to the whole squad. "

Fabio Aurelio

Quotes of the week

"That will bring my confidence up to work hard in the summer and be well prepared in pre-season so next season will be better.

"I have to prepare myself better than the normal work they give to the whole squad.

"My hope is to be available more than I was this season and if I can do that I will have a chance to have more minutes."

Aurelio is expecting Liverpool to push on next season as manager Kenny Dalglish prepares for his first full year back in control.

Looking forward

"It was a disappointing end to the season to finish with two defeats (against

Tottenham and Aston Villa)," he added.

"But looking back to the position we were in when Kenny took over (12th) I think the team has improved and had a good campaign, even though it is not the one everyone expected.

"The hopes will be higher for next season and I think everyone is looking forward to it."