BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
Danny Ward has set his sights on breaking into the Liverpool starting line-up after his shock recall from Aberdeen.
The gifted 22-year-old joined the Dons on loan at the start of the season and established himself as a firm favourite following a string of fine displays during his 29 appearances for the Pittodrie outfit.
However, the English Premier League giants stunned Aberdeen by taking him back to Anfield following a series of dismal performances by Simon Mignolet’s deputy, Adam Bogdan.
Ward has already been on the bench against Arsenal and Manchester United – and, after signing a new five-year contract at Liverpool last summer, he admits it would be a dream to star for the senior side.
He said: “You don’t to try and run before you can walk but it would be nice to try and get a game in any competition for this club.
“I’ve got to keep an open mind, train as hard as I can. I know it’s a bit of an old cliche, but take one day and one session at a time and see what comes around.
“I think [the manager] is just expecting me to come back and challenge with Simon and Adam and train as hard as I can, like I have done ever since I signed for Liverpool, and hopefully [I will] catch the eye.”
Ward, who developed a strong rapport with the Dons faithful, has lauded Aberdeen for the part the club played in his development this season after lapping up the Europa League experience and Premiership crunches against Celtic.
He told Liverpool’s official website: “It was massive for me this year to go and get games. I’m just thankful that a club as a big as Aberdeen gave me the opportunity to play and get games and exposure which was done me the world of good.
“You never know how you’re going to react in pressure situations in front of big crowds until you’re actually there and experiencing it. I’m thankful that I’ve had the ups and downs of football whilst I’ve been up to Scotland.
“We had a little run in the Europa League where we went to Rijeka [in Croatia] who had this formidable home record. I think they were nearly 60 games undefeated and we weren’t given a chance but we kept a clean sheet and won 3-0 which was really satisfying.
“I’m obviously sad to leave Aberdeen but that’s football and I’m looking forward to the challenge that lies back here.”