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Gary Ablett today spoke of his delight after seeing reserve team vice-captain Jay Spearing make an appearance during the memorable 4-0 win over European giants Real Madrid.
Coming on to a great reception from the Anfield crowd as a 73rd minute substitute for Steven Gerrard, the Wirral born midfielder made his second appearance in the Champions League this season.
The Reds number 26 was one of the most consistent performers in Ablett's treble winning reserve team last season, and the coach said his progress is a big positive for the second string squad.
"We are delighted for Jay," Ablett told Liverpoolfc.tv.
"Since I've been back at the club working with him Jay has worked ever so hard every single day.
"He always gives his best and he got his just reward when Rafa gave him his opportunity.
"We are pleased that Rafa trusted him to put him on the field against Real Madrid and it's a real boost for him.
"He can be really pleased with his contribution. I am delighted for him because he is a smashing lad. Everyone likes him and all the senior boys in the first team like him as well.
"It's a massive plus for our reserve programme because the boys can see now what's achievable.
"If they come in and train every day like Jay does then there is a chance to progress if they are good enough."
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