Steven Gerrard has told his U18s squad to take inspiration from seeing one of their own find the net during Liverpool's record-breaking victory in Maribor.
After guiding a young Reds side to a 4-1 win over their Slovenian counterparts in the UEFA Youth League, the former club captain took his players to watch Jürgen Klopp’s first team score seven goals without reply in the Champions League.
The result, which set a new mark as Liverpool’s biggest on the road in European competition, was capped off by Trent Alexander-Arnold’s effort in the closing moments.
Two seasons ago, the full-back was captaining the U18s. And on Tuesday night, some of his former Academy teammates were in the stands to watch him play a part in a memorable encounter.
“It was a brilliant night and that’s the reason why this competition is brilliant for our players,” Gerrard told Liverpoolfc.com.
“You go there, you experience playing against different styles and formations, and you get the chance to compete yourself in the day.
“Once your work is done then you have the opportunity to watch the first-team lads and that’s the target for them all: to try and get into that squad.
“You see how it’s done from a level above and the first team put a show on.
“I thought they were absolutely clinical from all over the pitch. What impressed me the most is when they were 3-0 up, 4-0 and 5-0 they were relentless and they kept on going and could have even got a few more.
“We’ve got a manager who, if you are a good enough and you show consistency, he will put you in and give you a chance.
“This is a football club that gives youngsters an opportunity if you are good enough.
“We have got a manager who is a breath of fresh air as far as that is concerned, so for the lads to watch this game in the evening and then see one of their mates, who is basically pushing for a place in the first XI, is great to see.
“It was great to see that Trent performed well and he got a goal, and hopefully our players that watched the game will be thinking ‘there was a chance for Trent, so why isn’t there one for me if I work hard enough?’”
The U18s return to domestic action on Saturday morning for a first league game in a month, when they host West Bromwich Albion in front of the LFCTV cameras at the Kirkby Academy.
Their last outing, against Everton in the mini-derby, saw Gerrard’s charges produce a memorable display under the floodlights to win 3-1.
And the Reds legend is hoping his team can maintain those high standards when they host the Baggies.
“The lads are itching to go,” he added.
“It’s our first league game for a while so they should be hungry and ready to go. We have dropped down in the league because we’ve got games to catch up on so it’s important we try and get the three points.
“We were very good in our last league game against Everton but it’s all about standards. You can’t pick your games and just do it against the likes of Everton, Manchester City and Manchester United.
“You’ve got to be consistent throughout the season and that’s the challenge for them on Saturday - can they perform to the same level as against Everton?
“We know West Bromwich Albion have got pace in the forward positions. They are very dynamic going forward but we can certainly cause them a lot of problems.
“It’s another opportunity for them to shine. The manager and his coaching staff always ask for footage of these games and hopefully they can do well.”