Liverpool youngster Stephen Darby has spoken of his delight in being handed a second start for the first team, despite a frustrating 1-1 draw away to Reading in the FA Cup on Saturday.
The 21-year-old was given the nod for the 3rd Round clash at the Madjeski Stadium and put on a solid display, alongide Martin Skrtel, Jamie Carragher and Emiliano Insua.
He says, “It was a big confidence booster to be selected for the game and it shows the manager has faith in me. I tried to repay that faith by putting in a good performance.”
Darby made his first start for the club in last month’s 2-1 defeat to Fiorentina in the Champions League.
The Maghull born defender continued, “It hurt for a couple of days after the Fiorentina game, but that’s where you’ve got to be mentally tough and overcome it in training sessions. The lads got behind me and gave me great advice and encouragement.
“Hopefully there will be a couple of more chances in the next couple of weeks. You’ve got to be level-headed and realise the hard work is only just beginning.”
His performance against Reading has earnt him public praise from pundits and teammates, and Darby added that to hear such plaudits gives him big confidence boost.
“It gives you a lift to hear the likes of Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher saying good things about you, but at the same time you have to remain level headed and keep your feet on the ground.
“It’s important to realise the hard work has only just begun.”