In his second Academy column since taking up the reins as Liverpool U18s boss, Neil Critchley talks about Brendan Rodgers, settling into life on Merseyside and the fine form of starlet Harry Wilson.

Critchley officially arrived at the Reds' Kirkby set-up in early September, joining from Crewe Alexandra, where he had held the role of academy director since 2007.

Yesterday his side produced a winning performance as they put Reading to the sword in a 4-2 victory - and afterwards, the 34-year-old took time out to talk to

I've been here almost two months now and I must say, I've really enjoyed my time here at the club.

I've been made to feel very welcome by all the staff and I've really enjoyed being out on the field with the players.

That's what I love doing, that's my passion. Being out on the pitch, improving players, talking to them and working with them, and I have to say that so far it's been a very fulfilling time for me.

It may only be at Academy level, but I'm proud that my work contributes in some way to a sport which is so special to the Liverpool people. Liverpool Football Club has always had a history of producing players - and home-grown players are very important to the club.

The supporters love nothing more than a home-grown lad to come through. It was only the other day I was at Melwood with the manager and he just happened to make a comment about how well he thought we played on Saturday in our 3-3 draw against Southampton.

It was brilliant and it took me back a bit. It was so nice to know that he's watching the games and he's watching the players. I'm then able to go and relay that message to the boys and that gives them so much confidence to know that the manager has been watching them.

It means that he knows who they are - and him coming to me and passing on that information is fantastic; it's not necessarily the case at all clubs.

It's a massive plus to have that sort of interaction with the manager. It's such an added motivation and it makes us feel as though there is a purpose to what we're doing. It gives us a sense of belonging.

It's almost as though there's light at the end of the tunnel as far as the Academy is concerned. The Academy is virtually redundant if the players are not going to get that opportunity.

But we know here, with the manager that we have in place at the moment, if we do produce those players, he will put them in.

From the outside, people could be forgiven for holding some pre-conceived ideas that there would be some egos here - big-time players - but I haven't seen any of that at all. I've just found that they are a really hard-working group of lads.

They want to be nurtured and guided and they want help to improve their game. I can't speak highly enough of the players that I've worked with. They're just first-class and I've loved being around them and working with them and I hope the feeling is mutual.

One of our lads, Harry Wilson, has made his debut for the full Wales national team and he's been in fine scoring form for the U18s this season. You can see that the whole experience has had a positive effect on him.

He's obviously full of confidence after coming back from international duty with Wales and his performances for the youth team have been tremendous over the last few games. But, as a club, we've not made a big deal out of it.

He's just come back into the youth team and slotted in and it's just been a case of normal service resumed. He's come back into training as normal and he knows he still has a lot to do.

Harry's at the early stages of development and he's only just joined us full-time at the Academy, having been here since the age of eight.

So we don't want to put any more pressure on him - he knows he's got to develop and he knows the areas of his game that he has to improve and he's more than committed to getting out on the training pitch to work on those areas.

I have to say, it's very rare for a player of Harry's age to go into the full national team at this point and I must say we weren't expecting it.

But what he has got to do now is use that experience to his advantage and we need to make sure we don't put too much of a spotlight on him and just let him develop naturally.

I think the environment we create here on a daily basis helps keep all our players grounded.

It's about the values that you instil into them and that comes from all the staff. They have to have a certain way of working and behaving and that must come from the environment that you set for them.

And if you instil that mentality then it helps breed the right sort of people and the right sort of players for this football club.