Will Hughes will put his boyhood love for Liverpool to one side tonight as he lines up for Derby County against Jurgen Klopp’s men in the EFL Cup.
The 21-year-old reflected on life growing up as a Liverpool fan and his aspirations to follow in the footsteps of Reds legend Steven Gerrard.
He told the Liverpool Echo: “Steven Gerrard was my favourite player growing up and I followed him quite closely. He was definitely up there with the way he went about his game and his demeanour.”
“I have followed Liverpool from when I was a young lad so to get to play against them professionally will be a big thing for me. I went to the Liverpool v Chelsea final (in 2005). I might not have been to a final when they’ve won it and hopefully it doesn’t happen this year!”
Hughes will be looking for a cup upset to help propel his team’s season after a disappointing start to the Championship campaign. Derby currently sit in 20th place after gaining just six points from their eight opening fixtures.
He added: “Everyone knows we’re going into the game as underdogs but stranger things have happened than us beating Liverpool at home and there are always shocks in most rounds of this competition.”
“We’re not going into the game to take part, we’re going into it to win the game. If we got the win it would be up there with the best results of my career.”
The midfielder and his Derby teammates will need to be at their very best this evening though if they are to have any chance of overcoming a Liverpool side running high on confidence after Friday’s stunning league win away to Chelsea.