Top notch youngster.
Jay Spearing reflected on his first start for Liverpool and admitted it was a special night as he helped the Reds reach the fourth round of the Carling Cup after a 1-0 win over Leeds United.
The Wirral-born midfielder lasted the full 90 minutes and the boyhood Red played his part as Rafael Benitez’s side had to work hard for the victory against Simon Grayson’s spirited side.
“It was a very special night for me to make my first start for the club,” the Reds No.26 told Liverpoolfc.tv.
“To play the full 90 minutes was fantastic and we had to work hard for the win.
“The atmosphere was unbelievable and it was a great cup tie to play in.”
The 20-year-old only found out he was playing a couple of hours before kick-off, and added: “When I was warming up it was more excitement than nerves to be honest.
“We trained in the formation we used on the night on Monday so I thought I might have a chance of starting, and then when we got to the hotel the boss told me I was playing.
“It has been a long time coming waiting for my first start but I’ve had to keep grafting hard and wait for my chance. I knew it was going to come soon and thankfully we got the result we needed.
“I thought we battled well and it was a team effort. We wanted to get through so we can play more games in this competition.”
Spearing now hopes that his run-out at Leeds can be the springboard to future starts in the red shirt. (Official Liverpool Website)
After a very long period without effectively using our youth and academy systems to full effect, Liverpool have a few youngsters coming through at the same time and it’s a testament to the determination and success of our current coaches and scouts that has seen an upturn in the amount of youth players Rafa can happily use.
Benitez clearly has taken on board the much anticipated ‘homegrown’ rulings and is well on the way to having half a dozen players on the fringes of the first team picture who happily adhere to the guidelines and Spearing is perhaps the most advanced of those in his armoury.
The young impish midfielder has grit and desire and a fair amount of skill and good footballing brain and perhaps best of all you can see just how much passion and love he has for the club and that should stand him in good stead in the coming years.