Stephen Kelly hopes a few good performances in Europe could help him force his way into Fulham’s first-team.
The Irish international defender was a regular in Fulham’s last Europa League campaign and looked impressive in last week’s 3-0 first leg win over Dnipro. With Chris Baird seeming out of Martin Jol’s thoughts, Kelly could establish himself as a rival to Aaron Hughes for the right-back slot.
The manager has given everyone a chance and hopefully after my performance last week I’ve given him a selection headache. I’m an out-an-out right back and I play there for my country a lot.
I’ve captained my country from there and that’s where I’ve played most of my football. Hopefully I can continue on and grow in confidence and stake a claim for the position at Fulham.
I’ve played left back and centre back but right back is my position. Last season started off great. I played the first 11 or 12 games before I got injured and then I found myself on the bench every week which is frustrating, but that’s football.
Sometimes you get knocks at the wrong time and I got injured against Tottenham and then Chris [Baird] came in and did well and stayed there for the rest of the season. That can happen in football.
The season before I was mainly involved in Europe and I got to play in some fantastic games, like the match against Juventus and Shakhtar Donetsk. I played in every game up until the final which was great for me.
It was frustrating for me last season but it’s a new campaign and we have a new manager and everybody is out to show what they can do. I think I proved that I can do well against a very good side last week.