Steven Gerrard has revealed some of the advice his given Liverpool’s youngsters.
The Anfield legend was appointed as the club’s under-18 manager; the first job of his managerial career.
Although Liverpool’s under-18s are unbeaten this season, they are yet to keep a clean sheet and have conceded 10 goals in their five matches.
“We are trying as a team to improve defensively but what it boils down to is you’ve got to want to defend,” he said.
Gerrard, 37, told his players to look for inspiration in Jamie Carragher and that they’ve got to be prepared to “take a shot in the privates!”
Defend like Carra
What Gerrard was obviously implying was that the youngsters need to be braver.
Defending can be dangerous job, but you’d sometimes got to be prepared to take a knock in order to make a clearance or tackle, a point Gerrard was keen to stress.
“You’ve got to take an elbow in the face, get a bloody nose or take a shot in the privates!”
“I played with Jamie Carragher, who wasn’t known for 40-yard passes or dribbling out from the back; he was known for blocks, he was known for organising and pulling people into positions and defending.
“He was a constant noise in your ear for 90 minutes and that’s how you defend at the top level.
“Defending hurts. It hurts your body and it’s tough, but these kids have come out of schoolboy football and they are in a man’s game now, which is tough.
“We are trying to toughen them up individually and get them to put their bodies on the line.”
Next up for Gerrard’s under-18 side is their Merseyside derby against Everton on Friday.
Liverpool’s senior side also have some defensive problems to sort out.
Jurgen Klopp’s side are without a win in any of their last four matches, which has seen them concede 10 goals.
The Reds will be looking to get back on track when they take on Leicester at the King Power on Saturday.