Curtis Jones battled through illness to realise a dream by scoring the winner in a Merseyside derby.
Scouse Academy graduate Jones curled a wonderful 71st-minute strike in off the crossbar to settle Sunday’s FA Cup third-round tie with Everton at Anfield 1-0 in Liverpool’s favour.
The 18-year-old came into the Reds’ starting line-up as one of nine changes made by Jürgen Klopp from Thursday’s Premier League victory over Sheffield United, with the boss saluting a ‘sensationally good performance’ from his youthful side post-match.
And Jones revealed that his match-winning strike and all-round impressive display came despite him feeling under the weather.
“The gaffer’s strong on not showing when you’re hurt and showing when things are tough so I think it was only right that I didn’t show that I was ill,” the teenager told Liverpoolfc.com.
“I’m glad I didn’t because I went out there and I put in a shift for the team. I’m just happy that we came away with the win and I’m looking forward to the next round.”
18 - Aged 18 years and 340 days, Curtis Jones is Liverpool's youngest goalscorer in a Merseyside derby since Robbie… https://t.co/1jTSZoGYMJ— OptaJoe (OptaJoe) 5th Jan 17:34
On the achievement of securing a derby win with his maiden senior goal, the boyhood Red beamed: “I think for me, being a young lad, a local lad and playing for the team that I love and the fans that I love, it’s massive.
“I go out there and try to take every opportunity that I get, and every game that I play I will always try to give my best. That’s what I tried to do today and I was fortunate enough to top it off with a great goal as people would say.”