Rhys Williams was certainly not a name Liverpool supporters expected to hear outside of cup matches this season. Thanks to a rash of injuries at the center back position, the 20 year old has been called to action in some big matches in both the Premier League as well as the Champions League.
With Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies out with fresh injuries, Williams again came into the Liverpool side in a must win game against Southampton. In an interview with liverpoolfc.com, the young, towering center back gave credit to the staff for keeping him ready for yet another spot start.
“I’ve just been keeping up with my fitness,” said Williams. “All the staff have helped me through it and they prepared me well for the 90 minutes that I’ve had to go and do. I had a bit of an incentive There’s a few minor injuries knocking about, so it gives the boys more chance to recover and I’m glad I could step in and do a job.”
And do a job he did. While Williams is not blessed with much in the way of pace, he did well with his positioning for much of the match despite playing an aggressive high line. Rhys was quick to give throw praise on his defensive partner, Nat Phillips.
“Nat’s a top defender,” said Williams. “He’s got bags of potential and he coached me through the game for some of it, so I’m really happy I could play with him.”
With the severity of the injuries to Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies, Rhys Williams could be in line for additional starts in partnership with Nat Phillips. Liverpool play away to Manchester United on Thursday before traveling to West Brom on Sunday, so there is little time for recovery.
Williams also said he and his teammates have been encouraging Thiago Alcantara to take more shots. The Spaniard has shown his skill in training, and finally managed to get on the scoresheet for Liverpool FC against Southampton.
“Well, we’ve been telling him to shoot more,” said Rhys Williams of Thiago. “His shooting in training is top. I think Gini shouted ‘Shoot!’ and he must have heard him because he’s whipped it round and finally got one for us.”