Jay Spearing eager for Liverpool run

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The Independent Football

Liverpool youngster Jay Spearing believes the battling draw with neighbours Everton can provide impetus for both the club and his career.

The 22-year-old midfielder was handed a surprise start in the absence of captain Steven Gerrard in what proved a lively Merseyside derby at Anfield, ending 2-2.

It was only the Wirral-born Academy graduate's second Barclays Premier League start and represented a major vote of confidence from new manager Kenny Dalglish.

Spearing only made his comeback from a broken ankle for the reserves last week but he acquitted himself well with a nerveless and wholehearted display in the intense derby atmosphere.

Spearing said: "This tops everything. In my whole career I've been aiming to play in a derby, especially at Anfield, and to get the nod was a massive boost for myself and a great moment for the family.

"But any game for Liverpool is a massive thing for myself and now I want to get a run in the team and hopefully show I'm capable of sticking around."

Dalglish has shown he is prepared to give youth a chance having started 20-year-old Martin Kelly in all three games since taking over from Roy Hodgson and given substitute appearances to Jonjo Shelvey, 18.

Spearing added: "You can see from the off - he's put Martin Kelly in and that's the third game on the bounce now.

"Hopefully I can follow in his footsteps and get a run going.

"He has faith in us so we must be doing something in training.

"It's down to us - but it's him as well. It's good he's got the belief to chuck us in."

Dalglish was brought in, initially until the end of the season, to arrest an alarming slump in fortunes after a dismal start to the season under Hodgson.

Despite the creditable derby performance, the Anfield side remain just four points above the bottom three, but Spearing believes Kop legend Dalglish can inspire a revival.

Spearing said: "We've lost games and that's not like Liverpool, we're not used to that.

"We need to improve that and with Kenny coming in, that's a massive boost.

"Now it's down to the players and hopefully this can be a great start for us.

"There's just this aura about him, he's King Kenny. For myself being a local a lad, it's a massive thing to try to prove to him that I can play."

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