Liverpool’s U21s should study Jordon Ibe's progression from Academy starlet to first-team regular as they bid to achieve their own senior dreams, insists boss Michael Beale.

A clutch of the club’s promising youngsters were part of Brendan Rodgers’ travelling party for the summer tour of Thailand, Australia and Malaysia, where they gained invaluable insight and experience at the highest level.

It was during that trip they were able to see Ibe and his teammates at close hand as they stepped up preparations for the 2015-16 Barclays Premier League season.

Now, as the U21s prepare to tackle Everton in the mini-derby in Southport this evening – a game you can watch live on LFCTV – Beale has urged his players to aim to follow Ibe’s blueprint as they attempt to make their first-team ambitions become reality.

“Our boys know from being away with the first-team squad in the summer that the level is a lot higher than U21s football,” he told

“So maybe for one or two of the boys they will have to seek a loan experience first because as we’ve seen from Jordon, he went to Derby and then came straight back into Brendan’s first team.

“Seeing the progress Jordon has made should give the likes of Sergi Canos, Ryan Kent and Harry Wilson every bit of confidence that if they go on the same path the way he has, then they will get a chance as well.”

Liverpool’s U21s head into the mini-derby on the back of a 1-0 opening-day home defeat to Chelsea – an outcome decided by an injury-time winner for the Londoners.

Beale feels the result was harsh on his side; however, insists their level of performance was highly encouraging for the Academy coaches.

He reflected: “We were frustrated with that result because I thought it was a really good performance from the lads.

“We created a lot of chances against them, but got caught by a sucker punch with their winning goal in stoppage time.

“The players do take the knocks harder than the coaching staff, but we can see that it’s a journey this season and the performance against Chelsea was probably a little bit ahead of where we thought they might be at this stage.

“The players always live for the result but for us coaches - as youth developers - we look at the level of the performance.

“I thought Alex O’Hanlon was particularly good against Chelsea and Tom Brewitt did very well on his debut at this level alongside Dan Cleary at the back.”

Last season the Reds beat Everton twice at U21 level and Beale has warned his players that David Unsworth’s team may well have a point to try and prove this evening.

“Everton will be hugely motivated and it will be a totally different game to the Chelsea match because it is a local derby,” he predicted.

“It’s the game every player wants to play in. Everton have brought some players through from their U18 squad, who are very good players.

“Their youth team got a very good result against our U18s last season, so we will have a couple of players who played in that game who will want to put things right.

“It’s important we don’t get carried away by the derby and just play our normal style. We played very well last season against Everton and they were two performances we can be very proud of.”

Watch Liverpool U21s take on Everton live from Southport on LFCTV and LFCTV GO from 6.30pm BST. Click here for details.

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