Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish was thrilled to see four of his first-teamers handed a run-out for the club's reserve side against Sunderland on Tuesday.
Jay Spearing, Sebastian Coates, Jon Flanagan and Danny Wilson were all involved for the second string, with the onlooking Dalgish and Steve Clarke impressed by what they saw.
Spearing netted a double, new signing Coates scored his first goal for the club, while Nathan Eccleston scored a brace of his own to round of fthe scoring, to the delight of the Scottish boss.
"They applied themselves very well and they will be better for getting 90 minutes," said Dalglish.
"They need to play games and it was good for them to be involved. It's better for them than training.
"Some people look at it as a form of punishment asking them to play for the reserves but that's certainly not the case.
"It was a necessity and it's important we give everyone opportunities to play matches.
"For the likes of Seb and Jay, it gives them the chance to get match fit and they did well. We need a strong squad with players who are ready to step in when they're needed."