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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. "I felt I did alright and hopefully I've proved to the boss and the supporters that I can do it for the first team," he added. "I worked hard and just tried to show the manager what I'm capable of. Hopefully I will get another chance but I have just got to keep working hard and then take the chance when it comes." During the second half Spearing was asked to operate just off David Ngog in the Steven Gerrard role. "We started off with three in the middle but it became too tight in there and the boss told me to push forward more and support Ngog," he said. "It's a role I played for the reserves last season so it wasn't new for me." Ngog was the hero of the night as he netted the only goal with a superb finish, and Spearing added: "It was a great turn by David and he slotted the ball home nicely. "He is a goal poacher and he is always in and around the box when you need him."
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