'I'm really pleased for Layton, it was a great hat-trick'

Academy'I'm really pleased for Layton, it was a great hat-trick'

By Steve Hunter


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Barry Lewtas highlighted the finishing qualities of Layton Stewart after the striker netted a hat-trick during Liverpool U21s' 5-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The Scouser, who turned 20 last month, took his tally to six goals for the season following his return from a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

Oakley Cannonier came off the bench to also score twice in Saturday's fixture – his first goals at Premier League 2 level.

Lewtas and his U19s group now look forward to Wednesday's trip to face Rangers in the UEFA Youth League at Partick Thistle FC (3pm BST kick-off).

After three consecutive wins in Group A so far, the young Reds are in a strong position in terms of qualification for the knockout stages.

Read on as Lewtas spoke to Liverpoolfc.com about Stewart's goals, the victory over Wolves, the Rangers clash and more...

On the 5-0 win against Wolves…

It was a tough game. After our first-half performance we felt there was more to come from us. We went 1-0 up, we knew what we needed to improve on tactically just to give us more control of the ball. We did that, we got more runners in behind and once we got that second goal we were able to kick on.

U21s highlights: Liverpool 5-0 Wolves

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On the finishing qualities of Stewart…

They were three brilliant goals. The first goal was the first chance he had and he stuck it away ever so well. The second goal was a brilliant ball in from Dominic Corness and Layton has chested it down and finished. His third goal was fantastic and we've seen him do that before. He spotted the 'keeper off his line and finished. It was a nice hat-trick, certainly.

On Stewart and Cannonier getting stronger and stronger…

We've got a lot of games and Layton has carried the workload for us in Premier League 2 and Oakley has done the same in the UEFA Youth League. We are able to keep both lads really active at the moment. Oakley took his two goals ever so well, his first was a fantastic strike and he could also have had a hat-trick at the end. I'm really pleased for Layton. He has trained ever so hard after his long spell on the sidelines. He is not there yet, but he is getting sharper and sharper.

On the superb display from Bobby Clark in midfield…

Some of the tactical changes we made at half-time were to try to get Bobby further up the pitch rather than being closer to our goal. I think that made a big difference for us and Bobby was a real threat in behind. When we put the ball in between the lines he was running in behind their back four.

On his joy at seeing the goals return for his team…

There have been games this season when we have come off the pitch and been frustrated, maybe missed chances to finish attacks off, crosses, final pass. Sometimes it's the way and they come along all at once and it was nice to see the goals go in. We have got a really good group of talented players and characters and we want to push as far as we can go individually and collectively.

On Wednesday's trip to face Rangers U19s in the UEFA Youth League…

These games are great in terms of the competition itself. For us, we've made a really good start but that's all it is, a good start, and the lads are well aware of that. We've had three good results, but the next games are going to be really pivotal, the next two in particular, so there's a real focus on what we want to do, how we want to play and show what we can do.

On last week's 4-1 win over Rangers in Kirkby…

I thought we were very good. When we reflected on it, I thought we were very good because we were playing against a very good team. I watched them play against Ajax when they missed a penalty and also hit the post. We knew what we were up against. Some days you can be in a position where you play extremely well and it kind of goes your way. We are not going up there resting on that and we know we are up against a really good opponent. We are going to have to play the way we want to play but show them a different hand as well.



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This article has been automatically translated and, while all reasonable efforts have been made to ensure accuracy, some errors in translation are possible. Please refer to the original English-language version of the article for the official version.