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Quansah: How you recover from your mistakes is the most important thing


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While the Jurgen Klopp farewell tour will not conclude with ultimate success, that only paints half the picture of this campaign.

 

At the beginning of the 2023/4 season, the squad was somewhat in a state of flux.

 

Highly valued and successful veterans had departed and it was universally seen as the right decision as the team needed to progress into a new era, or as the manager termed it ‘Liverpool 2.0.’

 

While it was an exciting reset, it was also not without risk as you needed the new players to come in and be a good fit.

 

While signings were made, one thing that Jurgen Klopp has made his aim throughout his Liverpool tenure is keeping one eye on the future as well as the present.

 

That means giving opportunities to players coming through the academy or those graduates who have excelled on loan.

 

In all the wins that Klopp has had managing the Reds, there would,have been few more gratifying moments than the Carabao Cup Final triumph against Chelsea when a Liverpool  team missing a catalogue of first team regulars and senior players out on their feet managing to dig deep to claim a famous victory.

 

And just who was along the likes of Virgil Van Dijk, Luis Diaz and Joe Gomez giving them extra impetus in extra time?

 

It was the quartet of Bobby Clark, James McConnell, Jayden Danns and Jarell Quansah, with their academy contemporary Conor Bradley also playing a sizeable role as a starter.

 

It was a huge tick of acknowledgment for those who run the youth programme at the club as well as the youngsters themselves.

 

Each of them have a story to tell about how they got to that moment, and the 21 year-old central defender from Warrington has certainly had a campaign he could only dream of.

 

By and large only the closest of academy observers would have even known who Quansah was before he came onto the pitch in a hostile atmosphere against Newcastle at St James’ Park.

 

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With the visitors losing 1-0 and playing with 10 men for close to a hour with their captain Virgil Van Dijk sent off, it was anything but a cosy cameo opportunity.

 

It may have been 20 minutes of action, but in the heat of battle, Quansah showed he wasn’t fazed one bit, and underlined the statement that his manager at Bristol Rovers Joey Barton said last season “The sky’s the limit for him, he can be whatever he wants. Jurgen Klopp doesn’t feel the way he feels about you, training with the first team, unless you’re a good player”

 

Quansah has made 29 other appearances for the club since his debut in August.

 

In the main he has been highly commendable bordering on excellent and guided superbly by more senior teammates.

 

But just like with any youngster making their way, there are going to be some bumps in the road.

 

One of them came at the home of Liverpool’s fierce rivals Man United last month when after a first half of dominance, a casual pass by the defender was pounced upon and allowed the hosts back into the contest.

 

A mistake like that in such a high profile encounter instantly scar any player let alone in their first season in the top flight but Quansah’s response said a lot about his character and speaking to the Echo, he outlined the lessons he has learnt.

 

"When I was a younger I used to struggle when I made a mistake and sort of go under and stuff like that,"

 

"Over the past few years - other than my (loan) spell at Bristol Rovers - I didn't get tested too much in the Academy, so I wasn't used to making big errors.

 

"So in such a big game obviously I made that error but I've got to take the positives from it, such as the way I bounced back from it and managed to play (the final) 40 minutes without putting a foot wrong and helping with a goal.

 

“I didn't go under, and in probably one of the hardest stadiums you can go to in a such a big game.

 

"Everyone makes mistakes and it is just about how you deal with them. I had skip (Virgil van Dijk) next to me and obviously he was in my ear, but a lot of players can say a lot of things in those moments - it’s how you deal with it yourself, ultimately.”

 

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Did Quansah believe he would have such an opportunity this season?

 

“It's hard to say as you know football can be up and down and you never know what really is going to happen,"I can't say I was expecting but at the end of the day I'm not going to say I wasn't."

 

Quansah says he indebted for the support of those who have walled down the same path as him to get to this point such as Trent-Alexander Arnold and Curtis Jones.

 

The Academy do that really well,"

 

.”Trent is always in contact with the Academy and Curt always comes down as well. Curt isn't much older than me so he wasn't down there as much when I was coming through, but Trent came down a lot.

 

"We had meetings with him and he showed us his journey to the first team and what he had to do and what to be prepared for. Seeing what he has done and how he has progressed into one of the best players in the world, it has definitely opened eyes to myself and a lot of youngsters about what is possible."

 

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And while he is leaving, Quansah believes Klopp’s legacy from his final season will be the way he has left the squad and prepared players like himself for more success along the way

 

The dressing room is full of winners and people who want to win. We won this year (the League Cup) and from there we are in a different place to a number of of other teams.

 

"We will always be a club who want to challenge for the league title and other trophies and definitely the Champions League. We have a strong group still and it will get stronger the longer we are together.”

 

 


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