Bobby Adekanye's display against Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield last Friday was further proof of the teenager's continuing development, Liverpool U23s boss Neil Critchley believes.

The Netherlands youth international has endured injury problems since arriving at Anfield from Barcelona in the summer of 2015.

However, Critchley thinks the 19-year-old is feeling the benefits of working hard to get back to full fitness and adapting his game to the Reds.

Liverpool U23s are out to get their first win of the season following back-to-back draws on Friday evening when they face Manchester City at Etihad Stadium - a Premier League 2 game you can watch live on LFCTV and LFCTV GO (7pm BST kick-off).

Liverpoolfc.com caught up with Critchley ahead of the trip to Manchester, with the manager discussing Adekanye, Curtis Jones, Adam Lewis and more...

On Adekanye’s display in the 1-1 draw with Spurs last week…

I thought he was terrific on the night [with] some outstanding play. Arguably he was the best player on the pitch. He was so effective and they had a real problem handling him one-v-one and with Bobby going inside and outside. He scored a good goal, which was arguably the hardest chance he had. He probably deserved to walk off the pitch with the matchball and certainly another goal under his belt. I’ve been delighted with Bobby at the start of this season and at the end of last. I think he's made big strides and has come on a lot. Hopefully, if he can remain fit, then he will be a big player for us this season.

On the forward beginning to fulfil his potential…

It was stop-start for Bobby when he first came to the club, which was no doing of his own as we had to wait for international clearance, and then he unfortunately got a couple of ankle injuries in his first year. That set him back because there is a period of adaptation to our type of game and the style of play we want to implement at our club. It was different to what he was used to. He has taken those messages on board and he has worked hard himself - extremely hard - on his physical condition, and he is now reaping the benefits of that. Fingers crossed he can stay fit and he can show the undoubted ability that he has got.

For any of these boys consistency is always the key. They are not 16 any more and they are at the business end of their development years, if you like. It’s now senior football and it now matters what they do on and off the pitch. Bobby knows that if he wants to progress to that next level and for people to really take notice of him then his numbers in terms of assists and goals are going to be really important for him.

On being able to call upon Curtis Jones and Nat Phillips against Tottenham…

They have had a fantastic time in pre-season with the first team and at the end of last season as well. I think you could see both players benefitting from that experience playing for us and maybe we will get them for more games. If we do, great, but on a personal level it was good to see them and catch up with them because we’ve not been able to do that face to face with them being away with the first team. I was delighted to see them.

On whether he feels a sense of satisfaction at seeing the progress of Jones after giving him his U18s debut at the age of 15…

I just see it as doing my job and that’s what we are here to do. When he made his debut it wasn’t me, we make those decisions together. Barry Lewtas was U16s manager at the time with Steve Heighway and Alex [Inglethorpe] and we sit together and discuss these things. When we think it’s the right time, we'll do it. It’s never just me making that decision and that’s the strength of the Academy and the strength of the club. Curtis has done very well to be where he is at but he is also aware that he has not achieved anything yet and he has a lot to do. He is aware of that but he has had a little taste of it and you can see it in his eyes that he wants more of it. He is a driven boy and hopefully this can be a really good season for him.

On the spirit and determination shown by Adam Lewis after he missed an early penalty versus Spurs…

I was really pleased with Adam. He can get his head down from time to time and maybe that would have affected him in the past but I think he has shown a better level of maturity in his game with those type of incidents. I thought it was a step in the right direction from him and I was delighted with Adam’s reaction. He got a bit of good natured stick from the lads in training after missing the penalty but if we get another one then he will put himself forward because he backs himself. It takes a bit of courage to do that and we will support him in that.

On Rhian Brewster being at Anfield to support the U23s last Friday…

It was nice to see Rhian. I’ve not seen him for a little bit so it was good to see him in the dressing room before the game and sitting on the bench. Rhian was in good spirits. He’s got a little bit to go in his rehab at the minute but he’s making strides and making progress. He is just frustrated because he wants to play but it was good to see him smiling and joking around the place - although he did take some terrible stick for the gear he had on, but we'll allow him that one! It was great to see him and hopefully we’ll have him back on the pitch at some point.

On being held to a draw by Tottenham despite playing against 10 men for much of the game...

I think it would be easy to be negative after not beating 10 men, but when we actually reviewed the game back and looked at it the performance was actually very good, and the only thing that was missing was the final bit of putting the ball in the back of the net - which is the most important thing. Our actual play and our intentions were very good so it would be easy to be negative and look at the other things we could have done or should have done, and what we actually tried to do was very good. Unfortunately, we didn’t take our chances on the night which is something we’ve got to get better at. I was happy with the performance but we should have won that game and we should have beaten Brighton as well.

On the visit to the Etihad…

We are very fortunate to have played at Anfield and now we follow that up at the Etihad on a Friday night under the lights. It will be a great occasion and it is a game we are certainly looking forward to. If we can perform like we have done in the first two games then I’m confident the results and winning games will follow.

Watch the U23s take on City at the Etihad live on LFCTV and LFCTV GO>>>

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