Skrtel: 'I don't feel guilty'
Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel insists he does not feel guilty about the challenge on Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea which resulted in his three-match ban.
The Slovakia international, currently away preparing for a Euro 2016 qualifier at home to Luxembourg on Friday, failed in his appeal against a violent conduct charge.
Skrtel had argued the action of standing on De Gea's right shin as he chased a through-ball in the final seconds of Sunday's 2-1 defeat at Anfield was unintentional but an independent panel disagreed with him.
The 30-year-old has continued to profess his innocence even after his ban was confirmed, meaning he misses Premier League matches against Arsenal and Newcastle, plus an FA Cup quarter-final replay at Blackburn.
"It feels strange because we appealed against those charges and still I was hit by a three-match ban," he told his personal website martin-skrtel.com.
"I didn't want to stamp on him. It was an accident and I didn't do it on purpose. I don't feel guilty.
"It was a long ball and he went towards me and I wanted to jump over him. Simple as that."
Press Association Sport understands the defender is unlikely to be punished after he posted a picture of clowns on his Instagram account on Wednesday - which has been widely viewed as his comment on those who sat on the panel and decided the outcome of the hearing.
Skrtel will be joined on the sidelines by Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, who will also serve a similar three-match ban after his moment of madness saw him sent off less than a minute after coming on as a substitute for the second half after stamping on United midfielder Ander Herrera.
With Skrtel and several of his team-mates away on international duty the club's Under-21s squad have been invited to train at the first-team's Melwood base.
However, one of their number Jordan Lussey will be getting competitive action elsewhere after completed a loan move to Bolton, currently 17th in the Sky Bet Championship.
The 20-year-old follows the likes of Sheyi Ojo and Jerome Sinclair, who have both joined relegation-threatened Championship side Wigan on loan in the last six weeks to gain first-team football experience.
Fellow youngsters Kevin Stewart and Jack Dunn have both joined League Two side Burton Albion on loan deals, having previously spent time at Cheltenham this season.