Liverpool U18s boss Barry Lewtas has spoken of the inspiration his young team have taken from having Anfield legends such as Sir Kenny Dalglish and Steve Heighway cheering them on from the touchline.

Dalglish was present alongside Academy director Alex Inglethorpe for the opening-day 7-1 win away at Blackburn Rovers, while Heighway was pitchside for last Saturday’s 3-2 victory over Stoke City.

Also present were Curtis Jones and Rhian Brewster, who, after finishing their training session with the U23s, were spotted celebrating Layton Stewart’s dramatic late winner.

"It’s probably the atmosphere that has been put together here at the Academy by Alex [Inglethorpe],” Lewtas told Liverpoolfc.com.

"Sir Kenny was with us down at Blackburn and Steve was here for the Stoke City game.

"The likes of Rhian and Curtis might have finished training but they want to come and watch us and support the lads. It’s a real family atmosphere here and those kind of examples show that, so it’s really good.”

After back-to-back wins to start the new campaign, the young Reds face an away trip to Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday, a game you can watch live on LFCTV GO with kick-off set for 1pm BST.

Read on for Lewtas’ thoughts ahead of the match...

On a promising start to 2019-20 for his side…

We had a really good pre-season in terms of the quality of the opposition we played and the boys also went away to Germany to play in a tough U19s tournament in Oberndorf. Having a tough pre-season gets your season started and we had a really good opening day, winning 7-1 away at Blackburn Rovers. We finished that game strongly and then we beat Stoke City 3-2. Stoke is always a tough game so we knew what we were in for. It was tough but a really exciting one as well.

On the dramatic 3-2 win over Stoke last Saturday…

Both teams gave it a real good go. In the first half our goalkeeper Ben Winterbottom made a couple of good saves to keep us in the game and without question in the second half their goalkeeper took over in that goal and made a number of good saves as well. We were pleased with the amount of chances we created but obviously from a defensive point of view we were quite disappointed at how easy we let the opposition get on top of us at times. But it’s early days and it’s a young team, it’s a new team and there are going to be plenty of ups and downs. So to show the character we did and score a late goal was pleasing. The quality of that late goal was very pleasing, so overall it’s an exciting start to the season but there’s still plenty to do.

LFCTV GO: Watch highlights of the win over Stoke

On Stewart’s dramatic winner against Stoke courtesy of a perfect pass from Jake Cain…

We said at half-time about the space we had in the game to play over and attack the space in behind them. Near the end of the game they did start to drop off a bit and we put the pressure on. It was funny because the boys have done a lot of work on that. We talked about Jake’s range of passing and showed the boys a little video from training when Jake put the ball in for Layton to score. The finish was fantastic and the pass was fantastic, so it was a really good goal.

On having a very young team at U18 level this season with many of his FA Youth Cup-winning squad stepping up to the U23s…

At the moment we have the likes of James Balagizi, who is still a schoolboy, training with us and he has done ever so well playing out of position up front. It has been a really good experience for him with our two games so far, really tough games for him and he’s done ever so well. We have also got a few of the boys like Fidel O’Rourke and Niall Brookwell who were with us last season just back from injury, we will have Tyler Morton with us soon as well. Hopefully the group size will get a little bit bigger and we will have more competition for places.

It’s a young and evolving group but that’s the job. It’s not a shock to me, it’s exciting. Obviously what we did last year was great and a really great journey for the boys. I really enjoyed it and the boys did but that time has gone now. They move up [to U23s] and it’s someone else’s opportunity and that’s a really exciting part of the job for me. There will be a few ups and downs along the way but we will be patient with them. They have started really well and set the standards, so it’s up to them to meet that and exceed them week to week. I’ve got a really positive group, a group who work hard every day and I think that’s the main thing.

On the promising displays of 16-year-old France U17 international centre-half Billy Koumetio…

Billy has been around us a little bit now and made his U18s debut this season. He has settled in well and he is a real imposing figure at centre-back. He certainly looks like a centre-back, he is aggressive and he defends on the front foot. He works ever so hard in training, he’s keen to develop and he knows he’s still got a lot to do. He is good in possession, so he helps us with the way we want to play and he has the ground work for us to do some really good work with him. He is really keen to learn and he has shown that with his English, which has come on in leaps and bounds. Billy has also become a real character in the dressing room as well, so hopefully he is one who will continue to develop on this journey.

On Koumetio stepping in for Rhys Williams, who was a real leader and communicator at the back for the U18s last season…

Rhys became one of the leaders of our group in terms of his communication and his performance levels. Billy is still in his infancy in terms of his U18s career and his English is good. He does communicate but he will take time to lead.

LFCTV GO: The new Academy Show

On filling the vacant gap left by Paul Glatzel and Bobby Duncan, who fired 60 goals between them last term…

We have scored a few so far which is good [10 in two games] but obviously they lead the line well for us and they were a really good combination. Don’t forget within that league campaign we had Fidel chipping in with a few goals and he’s back for us now. Jack Bearne contributed with some big goals as well, so we are not looking at how we replace Bobby and Paul so we need to find a different way. What has been pleasing so far is the contribution with the goals from midfield. Jake [Cain] has stepped up to the plate with goals and assists and young Tom Hill has scored three goals. I’m certainly not putting pressure on our No.9 to score 60 goals! It would be great but at the same time we’ve got to make sure we are contributing from other positions as well and that has been a really pleasing part of the season so far.

On captain Leighton Clarkson getting the chance to train at Melwood during the past week…

He got an opportunity to go there and train which is great for his development. I had a good chat with him, which was quite lucky really because it was his review meeting this week. I was able to pick his brains, he enjoyed it and he was very honest in his reflections. Those experiences are good for him.

On Saturday’s trip to face Wolves…

They beat Stoke City on the opening day and they also beat Manchester United last Saturday, two fantastic results. We had two challenging games against them last year and we know how difficult it is going to be. We will prepare well in terms of what we want to do and developing the players every day. We are certainly excited for the game. We scored a few good goals against Wolves last season and the away game when we won 3-0 was one of our better performances. We had to be really patient in the way we pressed and won the ball back and that was a real standout performance from us. In Kirkby it was the run-in when we were going for the title, so the pressure was on to get three points, which we did. The two games against Wolves last season hold fond memories really, so hopefully we can continue that on Saturday.

Anfield, Liverpool FC's stadium

Liverpool U23s to host Manchester City at Anfield