Liverpool youngster Jay Spearing has highlighted the influence of Kenny Dalglish and Steven Gerrard in reviving his career at Anfield.
The 22-year-old former Leicester City loanee felt that his time with the club could be coming to a close under former manager Roy Hodgson, but has flourished since the appointment of 'King Kenny' on Merseyside.
"The new manager has given me a lot of confidence," the Reds midfielder told the Daily Mirror.
"He started me in the derby at Anfield in one of his first games and he has shown he has belief in me. He knows what I can do. Any player that has the confidence of the manager gets a massive boost. I have been in and around the first team for a few years but I'm regularly involved now."
Opportunities have come Spearing's way thanks to midfielder injuries at Liverpool in recent months, not least to inspirational club captain Gerrard.
However, the academy graduate has taken full advantage when presented with the chances, and revealed that his England international colleague was one of the first to praise his efforts on the pitch.
In referring to a text from Gerrard which said 'well done' after the win at Sunderland, Spearing added: "To receive something like that from someone who has done so much is a massive boost. That proved I could play at this level."
"I have to pay that back now and keep it going."
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