Lucas optimistic for younger Reds

Liverpool's Lucas Leiva is pleased with the opportunities that manager Brendan Rodgers has offered to the squad's younger players.

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With Rodgers purchasing just three players in the summer transfer window, the likes of Jonjo Shelvey, Raheem Sterling and Martin Kelly have featured prominently in the Liverpool first team this season despite the trio's lack of top flight experience.

Moving to Liverpool from Gremio when he was only 20 years of age, Lucas told that he often offers support to these players by sharing his experiences.

"I see criticism of young players and sometimes I feel it's a bit unfair because if you're young, you have ups and downs. Nobody is a top player at 18 or 20. There are only a few who can say that," Lucas explained.

"I just try to be around and tell them what I went through. Confidence is 50 or 60 per cent of the game. If you have confidence you try more."

Although a portion of Reds supporters were left disappointed with Rodgers' summer signings, the Brazilian believed the quiet transfer window has opened up a rare opportunity for the younger squad members.

"Maybe we didn't sign too many big players but that's an opportunity for the young players, I was speaking with Suso and Pacheco a few weeks ago, and I said the club has never been so open for young players since I came here," Lucas shared.

"I feel the supporters like it, they like the young players coming from the Academy. You've had Stevies and Carraghers. That's the time now. Brendan likes to give chances and that will be positive in the future because these players will just get better. If they are doing well now, can you imagine in a few years' time?"

Liverpool team-mate Jordan Henderson agreed with Lucas, and he revealed that he has been developing steadily since Rodgers took the helm at Anfield.

"The areas he [Rodgers] has asked me to work on were mostly to do with discipline, and tactical awareness in the team. I've developed my understanding of when to go forward, when to stay and things like that. I think you can see there is a lot more maturity in my performances, and I think that is down to his guidance," Henderson said.

"The style we play under Brendan is nice. It is good for midfield players like myself because we get a lot of the ball and the chance to get involved. I've enjoyed it so far, and hopefully it will only get better."

Liverpool play Reading in their next Premier League fixture on Saturday.

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