Alexis Mac Allister hails youngsters for stepping up amid absences

Alexis Mac Allister has hailed Liverpool's youngsters for stepping up at a time of need, as the squad becomes increasingly depleted.

Liverpool's injury list hasn't been great viewing as of late, with the likes of Dominik Szoboszlai and Kostas Tsimikas recently joining the long-term absentees of Thiago Alcantara, Joel Matip, Andy Robertson and Stefan Bajcetic on the treatment table.

And with Wataru Endo and Mohamed Salah off to represent their nations in the Asian Cup and Africa Cup of Nations respectively, Jurgen Klopp is being forced to turn to some of the academy's finest exports to make up the numbers.

Mac Allister has made sure these youngsters aren't going without recognition, praising the likes of Conor Bradley and Bobby Clark for their contributions in recent weeks.

Speaking on the club's official website, he said: "You can see in the [Arsenal] game – Conor [Bradley], Bobby [Clark] – players from the Academy are doing very well and that helped the team to grow every single day in training and in the games.

"We are missing players – like [Wataru] Endo, Mo [Salah], Robbo [Andy Robertson], Thiago [Alcantara], some important players – but the team is always there and the young players prove that they are ready, so that's what we need.

"In football you need a big group, a group of big players – and everyone is showing that. That's why we all think that we can achieve some big things. But as I say, we have to go step by step."

Mac Allister has also put a spotlight on the team dynamic, crediting Liverpool's strong first half of the season to the good relationships between the players.

Liverpool currently sit top of the league, two points above Manchester City - but the Argentinian recognises that there's a long way to go before any sort of celebration can happen.

Mac Allister added: "I think everyone can see how good the people are in the group. Our relationship is very good and that helps a lot to achieve things.

"Of course we are halfway and we haven't won anything yet, so we have to go game by game, keep improving.

"Hopefully at the end of the season we can celebrate some trophies – that's the idea. But at the same time we know how far [away] it is, so we need to keep working.

"We have very experienced players, we have very good leaders, we have a group of young players that want to improve every single day – and you can see the mentality.

"We know that as a team we need to suffer sometimes and we need to defend sometimes, and from there we can do special things. That's the idea and that's what we try to do every single game."

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