Former Liverpool youngster Tom Brewitt has admitted he tried to injure old teammate Daniel Cleary during his time at the club in order to boost his chances of selection.
Brewitt, now of Morecambe, spent ten years with his hometown club in their youth set-up but never made a senior appearance before moving to Middlesbrough in 2017.
In 2016, however, there was an opportunity to turn out for the first team in an FA Cup tie when Jurgen Klopp was faced with an injury dilemma, having numerous first team players unavailable for the third round clash with Exeter.
Speaking to the Football Journeys Podcast, Brewitt sensationally confessed trying to gain an advantage by targeting fellow defender Cleary in training.
"I was just desperate to play for Liverpool and that’s all I wanted to do. I took the decision, it was me or him, so I went after him in training,” he said.
“Before Christmas and the time between Christmas and New Year, I put myself next to him in possession games, I put myself next to him in games, and I just kicked him. I wasn’t trying to hurt him badly but I was trying to hurt him enough so he was out the way and I would play.
“It was about a week before the Exeter game and I took a bit of a heavy touch in a seven-a-side and he’s come in to tackle me. I waited a split second too long and absolutely topped him, went over the ball, it was a bad tackle – I knew it was a bad tackle, I did it on purpose and I’m not incredibly proud of it."
Perhaps not proud of his actions, Brewitt did go on to admit further that while his actions were wrong, he feels no shame for the decision he made.
“I’m not ashamed of it, either, because in my head it was me or him and I was choosing me," he added. "There was a bit of a scuffle after it and I think he got sent in for his reaction, rightly so as his reaction was probably bang on, and I finished off the session.
“He was on crutches for the next two weeks, so it was sort of like, not mission accomplished because I think that’s a bit harsh as I didn’t want to hurt him, I just needed him out the way for this game.”
Brewitt didn't feature in the game, suffering a concussion four days before, and Cleary - whose Dundalk side Arsenal in the Europa League this season - tweeted 'blowing out someone else’s candle doesn’t make yours shine any brighter' in response.