Jarell Quansah was elated to have made his Liverpool debut in such dramatic winning circumstances on Sunday.
The defender, who has emerged through the ranks at the Academy, was named on the bench by Jürgen Klopp for the Premier League clash with Newcastle United.
With 77 minutes on the clock and the 10-man Reds still losing 1-0 – following Anthony Gordon’s goal and Virgil van Dijk’s red card – Quansah was sent on at centre-back in place of Joel Matip.
And the 20-year-old played his part in a sensational turnaround that saw the visitors dig in to keep the Magpies at bay before Darwin Nunez netted a double to win the game.
“[The manager] just said that I’m ready for it and I felt ready, but as ready as you can be in this scenario,” Quansah told Liverpoolfc.com post-match.
“You don’t expect to make your debut away with 10 men at St. James’ Park 1-0 down, so it’s hard to put into words at this minute.”
He added of the squad’s determination: “They are the most important times. It’s easy to go under but we have got strong characters in this group. When Virgil, the captain, was sent off, everyone else was ready to step up and it’s a testament to that.
“It’s a team game, everyone needs to be ready so from the manager to all of the players, players on the bench, you have to be ready at any moment because any scenario can happen and you have got to be ready to take that opportunity.”
Substitute Nunez undoubtedly grabbed his chance in the most clinical fashion.
The Uruguayan dispatched a pinpoint finish across Nick Pope to equalise when Diogo Jota’s attempted pass bounced favourably into the box.
He then clinched maximum points three minutes into added time by taking in Mohamed Salah’s through ball and coolly slotting home the winner.
“He’s a huge threat,” said Quansah. “He’s always been a great finisher and you couldn’t have had two better finishes from anyone; you saw how composed he was in the moments when he tucked them away.
“Sometimes you start, sometimes you don’t, but it’s the way you react as a striker when you come off the bench.
“Obviously I don’t know too much about that myself but I know he is strong-minded and when he gets an opportunity he backs himself to score.”
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Quansah felt the unexpected circumstances around his appearance actually worked in his favour, avoiding the build-up of any nerves had he known in advance.
“Definitely,” he said. “I’m normally cool anyway but it’s always easier when something is sprung on you and you have got the adrenaline running through your veins.”
And, of course, the defender – who signed a new Liverpool deal in May following a loan at Bristol Rovers – is hungry for any more senior game time that comes his way.
He finished: “100 per cent. It’s what dreams are made of, a cliché but it’s so true. I’m ready for whatever comes.”