Joao Teixeira hopes to make the most of a second chance to start his Liverpool career after gaining valuable experience in cup competitions this season.
The 23-year-old has played in all three of the Reds’ FA Cup ties, putting in a useful performance in the goalless fourth-round draw at home to West Ham, after featuring in a Capital One Cup game back in October.
He made his first-team debut as a substitute in the Premier League win at Fulham almost two years ago but was then loaned to Brighton for the whole of last season and it was only the current injury problems which propelled him back into first-team contention with a crop of the academy’s top talent.
Manager Jurgen Klopp is keen to see what the club’s younger players can do and Teixeira is one of a number looking to impress the German.
“I don’t know what happened (after his debut),” said the Portuguese, who arrived from Sporting Lisbon in the summer of 2012 for £850,000.
“It was frustrating because when you do well you want to play more and more. Sometimes things happens and you have to respect the decisions.”
On what his return to the team can do for him now he added: “It is the manager’s decision.
“I just work every day to be in the team in the FA Cup, Premier League and Capital One Cup.
“I just want to play, get minutes, do my best and contribute to the team.
“Every time I play I enjoy it. That is my job and that is what I like to do.”
Teixeira was joined in the team against West Ham by fellow academy graduates Brad Smith (21), Kevin Stewart (22), Cameron Brannagan (19) with Sheyi Ojo (18) and Jerome Sinclair (19) coming off the bench.
Klopp played his youngsters again to give his senior stars – who had endured 120 gruelling minutes and a penalty shoot-out to get past Stoke to reach the Capital One Cup final in midweek – a much-needed rest.
It is a tactic he has employed in all three FA Cup matches so far and while the Liverpool manager undoubtedly has faith in the next generation he will not put pressure on them.
“They are all in our squad because they are an option for us,” he said.
“We have to decide always if it is the right moment or not. We are always in touch with under-21s, they are very often in our training with us.
“In the last few days we had 27 players in our training and made two teams so it is good but it is not the moment to talk about who will go through (to become first-team regulars).
“They have time. That is the best thing in life. You do not have to make the pressure bigger.
“There is a lot of potential. That is good but it is not enough to know it, you have to let them play.
“I know they can do better but it was really good and I am pleased with this.
“We will have a team for West Ham (the replay) and maybe it is not too far from this team.”