Soccer

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Liverpool rookie relishes chance to build on torrid European debut

Carl Markham

Published 09/11/2012|10:48

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LIVERPOOL debutant Conor Coady is keen to build on his big break into the first team but admits he will have to be patient.

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The locally-born 19-year-old, who has progressed through the club's academy since joining aged eight, gave a good account of himself in the 1-0 Europa League defeat against Anzhi Makhachkala.

A cold night in Moscow against opponents flying high in the Russian Premier League was a tough proposition for Coady, the club's under-21 team captain, after he was asked to perform the holding role in midfield.

But he came through without too much alarm to give manager Brendan Rodgers more hope for the future, having already fast-tracked the likes of Raheem Sterling, Suso and Andre Wisdom into the first team because of injuries and a lack of numbers.

"I loved it. It is every boy's dream to make his debut for Liverpool," said Coady.

"I felt I had a good game. The gaffer is going to give youngsters a chance and for myself to get a chance was fantastic.

"I put my all into it and was made up to make my debut.

"You have to be patient and bide your time and hopefully your chance will come.

"You just have to keep working hard in training."

The decisive goal came just seconds before half-time when Liverpool momentarily switched off and imposing striker Lacina Traore spun centre-back Sebastian Coates with a touch from his left foot before lobbing goalkeeper Brad Jones with his right.

It was a devastating blow for a young side shorn of major names and Rodgers decided to leave the likes of Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez at home to prepare for Sunday's trip to Chelsea.

"I thought we were a bit unlucky to get the result we did as it was a bit of a mistake for their goal," added Coady, whose next outing is likely to be for the under-21s in the NextGen series on Tuesday night.

"I thought we had a good game, sat in there and tactically we were fantastic and we are just a bit gutted we conceded the goal.

"But we will bounce back from this and become better."

Coady often found himself in close proximity to former Barcelona and Inter Milan striker Samuel Eto'o, Anzhi's marquee signing, as the Cameroon international dropped deep to receive the ball.

The youngster relished the challenge.

"It is always good to play against the best players in the world and Eto'o has been in his time," he said.

"He has that bit of class about him."

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