Stephens reflects on huge night at Anfield

By SFC Media time Sat 06 May Liverpool vs Saints
Photo by Matt Watson | Jack Stephens at Liverpool

Ahead of Southampton's latest visit to Anfield, Jack Stephens has reflected on the importance of the last trip there for him.

The 23-year-old was part of the side that secured a famous 1-0 victory in the second leg of the EFL Cup semi-final with Liverpool last January, in what was only his fourth start for Claude Puel's team.

Since then, Stephens has gone on to become an established part of the team, alongside Maya Yoshida, at the heart of the defence.

Looking back, it is clear to him how important that night at Anfield was in his development.

"Obviously, it was a great night for the team and the fans and everyone at the club, because getting to the final was a massive achievement for everyone," he said.

"Obviously, on a personal note, coming into the team, I was just delighted to be involved and to get the right result.

"I think looking back it was quite a big game for me. Obviously, at the time, I was just focused on doing my job and helping the team, but looking back it does seem like it was a massive game for me and it was one that I had to show what I could do.

"I feel like I did that, and I've been able to play a few games since then as well, which has been brilliant for me."

Stephens' performance that night was perhaps all the more impressive given the focus on his introduction to the side following injury to Virgil van Dijk, with the television cameras firmly trained on him in the moments before kick-off.

"I think there was a lot of attention on me, but that was obviously down to Virgil being out and there was a lot of talk before the game about whether we were going to cope and whether we would get through that game," said Stephens.

"So I did know that there was a lot of pressure on me, but I didn't really feel under any sort of real pressure. It was just important for me to concentrate on my game and help the team and get a clean sheet, which we did."

With Liverpool kicking off a run to the end of the season that also sees Saints host Arsenal and Manchester United, Stephens believes there is opportunity to further his development in the next two weeks.

"That's what you want to be involved in, is games against the best players, so you can test yourself," he said. "We have got some massive games coming up and I'm really looking forward to them."

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