KENNY DALGLISH has paid tribute to Liverpool's Academy staff for nurturing the talent emerging from Kirkby.
The Reds boss says former manager Rafa Benitez also deserves credit for the changes he made, which helped kick-start the club's production line.
Nearly two years ago, Benitez appointed Frank McParland as Academy director, while Pep Segura was brought in as technical director along with coach Rodolfo Borrell.
The success of their work has been underlined by the performances of teenage full-backs John Flanagan and Jack Robinson who impressed in Sunday's 1-1 draw at Arsenal.
“I don't know why players weren't coming through before, all I can talk about is the progress that has been made here,” he said.
“It was Rafa who put it all in place bringing in Pep and Rodolfo and Frank.
“What they have done has been brilliant. It's been helpful to the players and helpful to the club.
“I don't know how you measure it but we are delighted with the progress the Academy has made.
“They are doing well as a team which is very important as well as doing well as individuals.”
Dalglish already knew 18-year-old Flanagan and Robinson, 17, from his work at the Academy in the 18 months prior to his return as manager.
And the Scot hasn't been surprised by the way the duo – the two youngest players to play Premier League football this season – have effortlessly made the step up.
“Nothing fazes John,” he said. “He must have been nervous inside before his debut against Man City but outwardly no.
“He did exactly what I thought he would have done which is great credit to him.
“He's only 18 and on Sunday crashed into the captain (Jamie Carragher) who was carried off on a stretcher. It could have been upsetting but he just carried on with his job.
“Young Jack adapted really well after coming on – it was fantastic the way he went about his work.”
With Flanagan and Robinson alongside Carragher and Jay Spearing, Liverpool had four homegrown players in action at the Emirates. However, Dalglish says the fact that the two talented teenagers are from the area is only a bonus.
He said: “It doesn't matter where the squad come from, it's the quality that is most important.
“There will be no-one who will ever get a game of football here because of where they are born.
“Our greatest priority with anyone is their ability and we've been delighted with what we've seen.
“But we have to be careful. We just need to make sure that we don't get too carried away.”
Another highly- rated youngster, 16-year-old winger Raheem Sterling, is spending this week training with the first team at Melwood.
Meanwhile, Liverpool are hopeful Andy Carroll will be fit for Saturday's home game with Birmingham City – but Fabio Aurelio's season could be over after he pulled his hamstring again.
Carroll was substituted as a precaution at Arsenal after jarring his knee.