Carra: Reds starlets must work for places
Liverpool veteran Jamie Carragher has told the club's young players to keep pushing in order to ensure their make the most of their potential.
Carragher, 34, captained a youthful Liverpool side to a 2-1 victory at West Brom in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday night and the centre-back believes that the hopefuls on the fringes of Brendan Rodgers' first-team squad have the potential to carve out successful careers if they put in the work.
Rodgers fielded three teenagers in the starting line-up at the Hawthorns - defenders Andre Wisdom and Jack Robinson, plus German forward Samed Yesil - with four more on the bench.
Spain Under-19 international Suso came on later in the game, as did schoolboy Jerome Sinclair, the youngest player in the club's history at 16 years and six days.
In addition, Rodgers had former youth-team captain Conor Coady and Cameroon-born defender Stephen Sama among his unused substitutes.
The manager has already made clear that youth will get its chance at senior level this season, because his first-team squad is relatively small. But Carragher, himself a graduate of Liverpool's youth set-up, has warned the youngsters that they cannot afford to ease up.
"I'm sure a lot of people looked at the team-sheet on Wednesday night and thought it was going to be a difficult night for us," he told the Liverpool Echo. "But credit to the young players because they showed fantastic ability and character.
"Considering the circumstances with so many players missing, that win at West Brom was one of the best performances I've been involved in during all my years here.
"It was a great achievement for Jerome and it's something he'll always remember. But he doesn't want to just be remembered for that. He wants to be remembered for being a very good Liverpool player and getting goals as a striker.
"We believe we've got some good kids here but this is just the start for them. Now they need to push on and prove they can perform at that level on a regular basis.
"We want them to go on and have long careers here. We need some of them to be mainstays of the team for the next decade. If you look back over the years, a lot of youngsters have come through, played a few games and then disappeared."