- Premier League
Spearing ready to knuckle down under Rodgers
Liverpool's Jay Spearing is determined to prove his worth at the heart of new manager Brendan Rodgers' midfield as the Reds head to North America for their pre-season tour.
Boyhood Liverpool fan Spearing enjoyed an extended spell in the starting line-up last season, making 25 appearances under Kenny Dalglish, but knows that a new manager - and the likelihood of new arrivals this summer - means a fresh battle to secure a regular role for the entire squad.
The experience is nothing new to Spearing, now vying for a place alongside world class midfielders under the fourth new manager of his Anfield career.
"I've had to compete with the likes of Stevie G and Lucas," Spearing said. "The likes of Xabi Alonso have been here and Javier Mascherano and we could probably go on for a long time about the number of players who have played in a similar position as me.
"I've just got to concentrate on myself, knuckle down and try to work hard to show the manager that, if needed, I'll be available."
Rodgers has ruled out an overhaul at Anfield but is expected to announce two new signing before the club's opening pre-season fixture in Toronto on July 21. Liverpool have been linked with Real Madrid midfielder Esteban Granero and Bologna playmaker Gaston Ramirez, though Rodgers has refused to be drawn on speculation.
And while the former Swansea manager is prepared to give the likes of Alberto Aquilani a second chance at Anfield following his season-long loan to AC Milan, his refusal to rule out a similar loan move for club record signing Andy Carroll proves that nobody can take their place at the club for granted.
"We've all got to knuckle down and show the new manager exactly what we're capable of doing and we want to fight for our places," Spearing added.
"It's a new start and we're all working hard in each training session that we get and all the players are looking forward to the challenge. We've got four weeks now to get ourselves ready and we'll go into the pre-season to try and get some fitness."
After taking on Toronto FC, Liverpool face Roma in Boston's iconic Fenway Park before rounding off the tour against Tottenham in Maryland.