Rhys Williams considers his age no barrier to being a vocal presence for the Premier League champions.

The 19-year-old central defender made his top-flight debut for Liverpool on Wednesday night and impressed as Tottenham Hotspur were beaten 2-1 at Anfield.

In his glowing praise for Williams post-match, Reds captain Jordan Henderson specifically highlighted the No.46’s communication for commendation.

Asked if being vocal is a natural trait of his game, Williams told Liverpoolfc.com: “I’ve been encouraged to do it since maybe when we had Steven [Gerrard] as our manager at first-year scholar level and I’ve just tried to keep developing it year on year.

“It’s a big part of a centre-back’s game, being able to talk, because you can see it all and we need to be the loudest players on the pitch, for me, apart from the ‘keepers.

“Just because I’m a younger player doesn’t mean I can’t talk on the pitch, so I just keep trying to do that because it helps everyone else out as well.”

With Joel Matip’s availability for the visit of Spurs in the balance until the day of the contest, Williams learned he would be in the starting XI a matter of hours before kick-off.

“We got to the hotel about 12.30 before the game; Pep [Lijnders] pulled me aside and said Joel had failed his fitness test, so I’d be in,” he detailed.

“It was a bit of a shock to me but I had to compose myself and get rid of the nerves. I just tried to prepare as best I could with short notice and do the job I had to.”

We caught up with Williams ahead of Saturday’s clash with Crystal Palace to reflect on his landmark appearance against Spurs and the challenge awaiting the champions at Selhurst Park.

Read the rest of the chat below…

There’s only one place to start, Rhys – your Premier League debut on Wednesday night. Quite a game to come into and quite a performance from you. With a few days to reflect, how do you look back on it?

I was happy with how it went, I wouldn’t really change anything apart from maybe the [Tottenham] goal I could have done a bit better with. But looking back on it, that’s how I want my debut to go really. I’m over the moon with how it’s gone. And putting us back to the top of the table, it’s a huge win.

Nat Phillips said recently those nerves decrease with each game you play. Has that been the case with you? That was your ninth appearance of the season…

It has done in the Champions League because I’ve played a few in there, but seeing as though it was my first Premier League start, I was quite nervous. And having the fans back as well, I was just hoping I could perform for them because it has been a while since they’ve been there. I was happy we could get the job done and get the three points.

There must have been quite a lot rushing through your mind once you knew you were going to play – a massive Premier League game, you were up against the in-form attacking partnership in the league. How did you calm down and prepare before kick-off?

I knew I was going to be helped out by the rest of the team, it’s filled with great players. So I wasn’t too worried about that. I was just thinking about how to stop probably the most in-form duo in the world right now. I spoke to Curtis as well, he told me: “Just play your game, you’re obviously good enough to be there or the manager wouldn’t be putting you on such a stage.” So I trusted in my own ability and tried to go from there really.

After an occasion like that, once you’ve had a couple of hours to calm down and get back home, who is the first person you speak to about it?

I tried to call my dad but I think he was on the phone with someone else! So I called my best friend, who I speak to after every game and before the games as well. We’ve been best friends since we were about four, when I started playing football with him. I always give him a call and he is brutally honest with me as well – he tells me how he thinks I did. I always give him a call.

Trent Alexander-Arnold was talking about the young players coming through and how important it is for them to keep their feet on the ground. How have you approached that? Everything has come quite quickly for you this season…

My dad plays a massive part in that. He is quite level-headed and he knows I’m doing well now but I’ve not achieved anything over-spectacular yet. So I need to just keep going, keep plugging away and keep doing what I’m doing to keep getting the opportunities. And when it comes, I’m going to try to take it as best I can.

Crystal Palace next on Saturday then – they are unbeaten in the last three and their last home game was a draw with Spurs. What are you expecting from them?

We like to dominate the ball wherever we go and whoever we play against, but they have got a quality front four who are dangerous on the break and they have got a lot of pace. They are a good, organised team. We need to be looking at the danger players and hopefully trying to nullify their strengths – and then exploiting their weaknesses as well.

How much will what happened at Fulham last weekend be in the back of your minds? That was a reminder that if those levels drop at all, you’ll be punished?

In the Premier League anyone can beat anyone, so we have to start fast. We can’t give them any incentive that we’re doing sloppy things that we wouldn’t normally do. We need to start it like we started the Tottenham game, so hopefully we can take what we did against Spurs into the Palace game.

This game kicks off around 60 hours after the Tottenham match finished, which is obviously a challenge. But you have eight days without a game after that, so will that help in terms of digging a little deeper because there’s a break to come?

Yeah, the boss has been saying all week: “If you in your mind want to be fresh, you’ll be fresh.” So, I think that’s how the players are approaching it. We’ve got a few days to prepare for the next game afterwards, so I think that will help. But for this game we need to leave everything on the pitch – as we do every game – so it’s no different, for me.