U21s reaction: An 'excellent' win at Blackburn, Owen Beck's consistency and Tom Hill returns

AcademyU21s reaction: An 'excellent' win at Blackburn, Owen Beck's consistency and Tom Hill returns

By Steve Hunter


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Barry Lewtas was full of admiration for his Liverpool U21s side after they produced a superb display in their 3-2 win at Blackburn Rovers in Premier League 2 on Saturday.

The Reds played excellent football throughout the contest at The County Ground in Leyland and could easily have won by a greater margin.

Rhys Williams headed in the opening goal after a fine delivery from a corner by Owen Beck and although the home side levelled, a brilliant run and finish from James Norris edged Lewtas’ team back into the lead.

Layton Stewart continued his hot streak in front of goal as he netted his 11th strike of the season, with Blackburn then reducing the deficit late on.

Midfielder Tom Hill also marked his return from a long lay-off with some valuable minutes when he came on for the final quarter of an hour.

Read on as U21s head coach Lewtas reflects on an encouraging result ahead of the international break, speaking to Liverpoolfc.com…

U21s highlights: Blackburn Rovers 2-3 Liverpool

On the overall display from his side…

I thought we were excellent. We said to the players at half-time that it was just whether we could maintain that high level of performance into the second half – and we did really well. It was an excellent performance and great to go into the international break with a win.

On Williams netting from a superb delivery from the corner by Beck…

Dominic Corness has played a lot of games for us, so we felt it was the right decision to put him on the bench for us – just to freshen it up a bit and give Dom a bit of a breather. That gave someone else a chance on the set-pieces and it was a great delivery from Owen. Rhys is a real threat from those positions and he’s scored a few goals over the years. I was really pleased for him.

On Beck’s consistent displays at left-back since returning from his loan spell…

Loan experiences are exactly that – they are experiences. Owen obviously really took the plunge and went to a different country in Portugal, which is definitely something to be commended, stepping out of your comfort zone. Things didn’t quite work out but then he went to Bolton Wanderers, who are in a fantastic run. Sometimes things don’t kind of pan out the way you want them to go but he has learned an awful lot both as a person and as a player. He has come back with us and he has carried on where he left off for us – being a real threat at left-back and doing ever so well.

On the fantastic goal from Norris…

Chuck loves this ground, having scored that brilliant winning goal for us in the Lancashire FA Senior Cup last season. That was a fantastic individual goal and this one was an unbelievable team goal. We played some fantastic stuff in the first half and to see us score a goal like that, I was really pleased.

On Stewart getting sharper and taking his tally to 11 goals this season so far…

Layton is doing well and scoring some important goals for us. It was a really good performance from him. He held the ball up really well, brought other players into the game and obviously scored. He is getting sharper each game he plays. I know he wasn’t involved in the U19 game in Portugal but that’s four away games in 12 days for us – two of them in the capital – so for us as a group to finish in this way, I was really proud of all of them.

On the return of Hill…

Tom has been working really hard and it was great to see him out on the pitch again. He was desperate to put the kit back on and get out and play, so the plan was to give him some minutes. It was really pleasing for him to get on because he has worked ever so hard. The reality is he has had really rotten luck, so hopefully – and there are still plenty of games left – Tom can play a big part for us between now and the end of the season.



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