City full-back looks to build on recent performances.Cardiff City full-back Declan John has been relishing life in the Barclays Premier League since breaking into the first team and is now ready to test his talent against title challenging Liverpool.
The 18-year-old City Academy product has played numerous positions as a striker and left winger en route to the senior set up at Cardiff City Stadium, but in recent weeks he has made the left full-back slot his own with performances that often defy his young years.
Now looking forward to testing himself against the hottest scorers in the top flight, Dec said: “Coming up against these sorts of players was just a dream only a year ago. Now that I'm here and doing it, it's a great experience and I just want to keep that going until the end of the season.
“The lads have been brilliant, especially players like Steven Caulker and Craig Bellamy who both have experience of playing at the very top clubs. I take a lot of advice from them and learn what I can and try and take what they do in training and apply it to my own game.”
Performances have been encouraging in recent weeks for the Bluebirds with an excellent home victory over Fulham followed by a determined display at Goodison Park last weekend, only for City to be denied by a last minute winner by Toffees full-back Seamus Coleman.
But with just eight games left of the Premier League season, the Merthyr born full-back was quick to emphasise the need for points over performances to ensure a second consecutive year in the top flight.
“The results in recent weeks haven't really reflected how we've played,” said the City full back. “Hopefully we can kick on from those encouraging displays and get the points we need to stay in the Premier League.
“The position we’re in is not where we want to be. Nobody wants to be fighting a relegation battle. Every game to the end of the season is going to be tough, almost like a cup final every match. We need good results from our last eight games and points.”
And with Liverpool up next, a side with a first ever Premier League trophy in their sights, the Welsh International recognised the task ahead for the Bluebirds, saying: “You come up against those sorts of players and you know how tough it will be.
“Obviously putting three goals in at Manchester United and getting that result will fill them with confidence. We played really well last week as well though.
“We've got the players here to stay up. There's a lot of players here with the big game experience of chasing promotion or have fought relegation before. The gaffer and all the players believe we can stay up.”
HEAR FROM DEC AND OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER FROM THEIR PRE-MATCH PRESS CONFERECE, ON YOUTUBE, BELOW.