'You've got to take a shot in the privates!' - Gerrard urges Liverpool youth to be brave in defence
Former Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard has urged the Reds' young players to be braver defensively, and be willing to 'take a shot in the privates' for their team.
The 37-year-old Champions League winner is currently managing Liverpool's Under-18 side, having played over 500 Premier League games for the Merseyside club. His U-18 panel are undefeated in their opening four games of the season, but have drawn three of those games due to their failings in defence.
Like Jurgen Klopp's senior side, Gerrard wants his young players to do better and be braver at the back, and believes that former Reds defender Jamie Carragher is the type of no-nonsense player that they should be modelling their game on.
“We are trying as a team to improve defensively but what it boils down to is you’ve got to want to defend," Gerrard told the club's official website.
"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."
Liverpool's U-18 side are currently sixth in the U-18 Premier League North, while Klopp's senior side sit in eighth in the Premier League.