Danny Ward has been advised to bide his time at Liverpool after being told to keep fighting for his place in Jurgen Klopp’s first team.
The Wales goalkeeper enjoyed a successful season on loan with Huddersfield last season and had hoped to make an impression on Klopp this season – especially amid ongoing doubts over the performances of Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius.
As it stands, Ward made only his second appearance of the season at club level when Liverpool’s U23s fell to a 1-0 defeat to Sparta Prague on Tuesday night.
However, Ward impressed in the match after saving a penalty and U23s manager Neil Critchley stressed that Ward must take a patient approach to his development.
“I don’t think his development as a goalkeeper is unusual for a young goalkeeper,” he told ESPN FC.
“He’s still young—you’ve got to remember that. He’s got competition at Melwood, but he’d expect to have that.
“Danny believes in himself and he’s a fighter, so I’m sure he’ll keep performing and training like he is to give the manager something to think about.
“He’s brilliant. He’s a big character, Danny—a really good character. I think he’s matured so much since I’ve known him.”
Ward has only featured for Liverpool’s first team once this season – during September’s 2-0 loss to Leicester City in the League Cup – but Critchley said the player was more than willing to drop back to the U23s to give himself some valuable match time.
“He wanted to play tonight, which is great for him. I spoke to Danny before the game and he was eager to play and get games,” he added.
“Hopefully now he feels the benefit of that. We’re here to facilitate for the first-team players and we’re delighted Danny has come down and helped us. Hopefully we’ve helped him.”
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