Caoimhin Kelleher has revealed that there was no bitterness from Adrian after the young Irishman was picked to start for Liverpool in the Champions League.
With first-choice Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker ruled out with a muscle injury, many expected Adrian to step in but, instead, Caoimhin Kelleher was given the chance to make his Champions League debut for the Reds.
Kelleher kept a clean sheet and pulled off a string of impressive saves to secure the 1-0 victory over Ajax on Tuesday night and he was supported the whole way by Adrian.
Kelleher told LiverpoolFC.com: “So I found out yesterday, I got told by management and stuff. Then in the team shape we did, I was the starting goalie. So I found out yesterday. Obviously I was excited when I found out and then just tried to focus on the game from there.
“I didn’t see Ali yesterday because I think he was gone, but I got a text before the game just to tell me good luck. Adrian was a really great support.
“He told me, ‘I’m with you 100 per cent and supporting you no matter what.’ To get that from him was really kind of him.”
— RTÉ Soccer (@RTEsoccer) December 1, 2020
Kelleher, whose phone has not stopped hopping with messages of congratulations, received one of Jurgen Klopp’s famous bear hugs immediately after the final whistle.
Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson has confidently predicted that the Corkman will go on to win many games for Liverpool and also hinted that Kelleher did enough to overtake Adrian as Liverpool’s No. 2 ‘keeper.
Alisson is unlikely to recover in time for Sunday’s trip to Wolves and Kelleher didn’t do any harm to his chances of starting in goal at the weekend.
“That’s all I can do,” Kelleher said of his performance. “When I get my opportunity, I just need to take it. I think I’ve done well tonight, so hopefully I can push on and if I get another opportunity, just take it again.”