Aurelio vows to put the hours in

While the squad are due back for pre-season training in early July,
Aurelio plans to return to work much earlier to get his fitness
levels up. The 31-year-old has struggled with injuries during his
five-year stay at Anfield and was released by Rafael Benitez at the
end of his contract last summer before Roy Hodgson decided to bring
him back at the start of the season. It was a decision which did
not pay off as the defender managed only 21 matches in another
season disrupted by injuries. However, Aurelio hopes that the extra
work he will do over the summer – he is remaining on Merseyside as
his wife is expecting a baby next month – and a full pre-season
programme, he help him 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. “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. “I will do something more and as my wife is due to have a
baby it will be a good time to prepare myself, using the Liverpool
facilities and looking forward to the summer and pre-season. “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.” Kenny Dalglish is
likely to want a new left-back this summer after being forced to
use Glen Johnson in that position for much of his time in charge,
but Aurelio is not worried by any potential extra competition. “It
is always good that the club try to keep the squad as strong as
possible and it (the prospect of new signings) is welcome for the
good of the team,” he added. “My worries are in myself in being fit
and available because I believe I have the ability to fight for a
place in the team.” The absence of European competition for the
first time in 11 years will be of help in some respects as
Liverpool will play fewer than the 54 fixtures they had this
season. And with Dalglish set for his first full year back in
control, the prospects are much better than they were 12 months
ago. “It was a disappointing end to the season to finish with two
defeats (against Tottenham and Aston Villa),” said Aurelio. “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. “We can
put our strength and concentration on the league.”