Football

Alisson’s proud of me, says stand-in goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher

Liverpool's young goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher revealed that he received a message of support from injured No. 1 Alisson after keeping two clean sheets in his Champions League and English Premier League debuts over the past week.

The Irishman, 22, did not look out of place as he deputised for the Brazilian, 28, in the Reds' 1-0 win over Ajax Amsterdam and 4-0 thrashing of Wolverhampton Wanderers, leading to praise from boss Juergen Klopp.

                  GROUP D
MIDTJYLLAND LIVERPOOL

"My phone was buzzing for about three days after the (Ajax) game. Just from friends, from former coaches, family, everyone really," said Kelleher.

"Alisson texted me as well just to say 'well done' and that he was proud of me and stuff. All the messages were nice and supportive, so it was really nice to get all of them."

Kelleher's form and confidence has led to talk that he could be rested for their final Champions League group game against Midtjylland in Denmark tomorrow morning (Singapore tine).

The Reds, who have already qualified for the last 16 after clinching top spot in Group D, have three EPL games in a week - Fulham (next Monday morning), Tottenham Hotspur (next Thursday morning) and Crystal Palace (next Saturday).

But Klopp has yet to make a decision. He said: "We will see. Line-up-wise, I [HAVEN'T]made decisions but usually a goalie you don't have to change that often and nobody told me anything different that Caoimhin should be ready again.[/HAVEN'T]"

Klopp, who has no fresh injury concerns, also praised the other youngsters for stepping up in light of an injury crisis in the first team.

Midfielder Curtis Jones, right-back Neco Williams and centre-back Rhys Williams have all made seamless transitions into the first team.

"We had some problems injury-wise and that's clear - we lost top-class players to injuries," Klopp said.

"When one door closes, another one opens, but you still need the right players to use the chance and all of the boys did it.

"I can go through all of the boys - what Rhys has done in the Champions League so far is exceptional, Neco has played two really good games in a row.

"Curtis plays like he has been at the club for 10 years and Caoimhin was always a talent but he's now getting the chance to show that on a big stage.

"Without these players, we would have been lost, to be honest. Thank God, it turned out the way it did. The big part is that they were really well prepared, that's why we've been able to use them in the way we have used them."

Second-placed Atalanta can book their spot in the knockout stage for the second consecutive year, if they avoid defeat against Ajax in Amsterdam. - REUTERS

Football