Flanagan - I'm more mature

Teenage full-back benefiting from training with squad on a full-time basis

John Flanagan: Has made just six first-team appearances this season

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Liverpool teenager John Flanagan is learning fast after making the step up to the first-team squad.

The right-back burst onto the scene at the end of last season when playing in the injury-enforced absences of Glen Johnson and Martin Kelly.

Flanagan showed signs of promise, combined with some mistakes, when given the opportunity by manager Kenny Dalglish and looked like a player for the future.

The 19-year-old has found opportunities hard to come by for the majority of this season since Johnson and Kelly returned, but the duos' latest injuries mean he has played in both the recent defeats to Wigan and Newcastle.

"I realised in the summer that other people would be fit again and that I would have to fight to get back into the team."

John Flanagan

Quotes of the week

And Flanagan is hoping to seize his chance, as he told the Official Liverpool Magazine: "I think I have matured as a player and as a person.

Experience

"I'm training at Melwood full-time now, learning from the coaches and the other players, and always looking to improve my game.

"Being in that situation helps, and I would say I have a bit more experience now and have matured."

Flanagan added: "I realised in the summer that other people would be fit again and that I would have to fight to get back into the team.

"I've had to be patient and bide my time, but it was great to get a game against Wigan. Hopefully now I can get a bit more game time.

"It's disappointing for Glen and Kells' that they have been injured, but that's the nature of football. When you get your chance, you've just got to take it."