Sebastian Coates says he has no complaints about his gradual introduction to English football this season, saying he understands manager Kenny Dalglish’s preference to keep together his ‘consistent’ back four together.
Coates has made just four league appearances for Liverpool this season, however injuries to Daniel Agger and Martin Kelly mean he has been given his chance at the back alongside Martin Skrtel with Jamie Carragher covering at right-back.
The Uruguayan international took full advantage of his chance against QPR, scoring with a spectacular bicycle kick, however he could do little as Liverpool squandered a two goal lead to go down 3-2 at Loftus Road.
However Coates found himself back on the bench for the Reds 2-1 defeat against Wigan on Saturday, and with Kelly and Agger close to returning to full fitness he admits he may have to tolerate watching the remainder of the season unfold from the substitutes bench.
"I feel more settled now. As the months and the time goes by the period becomes a lot more easy,” he told Liverpool’s official matchday programme.
"I am enjoying the football and I know I have to be patient to play more games, purely because the other defenders have been so consistent for a long time.
"That is the nature of defence. Especially in that position, when it is working, you don't change it.
"I gained this attitude when Diego Godin had an injury before the Copa America and I got a chance. Because I did well, I stayed in the team. So you must respect your teammates when they perform. There can be no arguments."
Agger and Skrtel have formed a strong partnership at the heart of Liverpool’s defence this season, helping the club to concede just 31 goals this season, the third best defensive record in the league behind both Manchester clubs.
With Carragher used as back up for Dalglish’s usual centre-back pairing, Coates has found his opportunities limited.
However despite the fact all three block his route to the first team, the 21-year-old insists he is ‘privileged’ to be part of a squad containing players of their ilk.
"It is a privilege to train and play with them," he said. "Martin has been outstanding this season and is an example to me because he originally came from a completely different country with an alternate philosophy on football and has made himself a success.
"During the sessions I watch all of my teammates closely because you can learn from any position, not just your own.
"You see the central defenders at Liverpool and they all have attributes that are different.
"Each one can defend properly, of course, but Danny is very good with the ball at his feet, Martin has the type of aggression any defender needs to succeed coming from abroad, while Carra is a leader - a communicator who has helped me a lot when we have played together."