Jurgen Klopp: Why I was sure Liverpool starlets had quality to secure cup win
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says he had no qualms about throwing his youngsters into first-team
Jurgen Klopp says he had no qualms about throwing his “quality” Liverpool youngsters into the first-team for their 1-0 victory over Bournemouth on Wednesday night.
The 48-year-old handed debuts to youngsters Cameron Brannagan, Connor Randall and Joao Teixeira for the League Cup fourth-round clash at Anfield.
I’m really fine with these guys. And, very importantly, the other players didn’t think because the manager did this it’s not such an important tournament. I saw in the eyes of all the players that they wanted to win tonight. That’s very important
And the Portuguese youngster impressed as he played a part in Nathaniel Clyne’s first-half winner for the Reds to tee up a quarter-final clash against Southampton.
Speaking to the media after his first win as Liverpool manager, Klopp explained why he had no hesitation when it came to blooding some of Liverpool’s promising youngsters.
“I’ve been here round about two weeks and I saw these guys in training, and not only them but Pedro [Chirivella] and [Jerome] Sinclair,” Klopp said.
“They were with us most of the time in training. I saw them and it was clear the first chance I could give them I would do it. That was tonight because we needed some players to have this break and not to play today again.
“And I was completely sure these players had the quality to help us tonight and that’s what they did. It was not easy. One week ago I said it’s not so easy to rotate, if you bring players to play together.
“That’s what we saw tonight – it was not all of them but it was the best they could do and so I’m completely satisfied.
“Cameron Brannagan was in a very difficult position in the system we played today, the half space as a No.8. It’s really not easy to defend that position.
“Connor Randall – all the long balls they played were in his space. If he was not a good header before this game, now he is much better! Because he had the chance to improve 20 or 30 times.
“I’m really fine with these guys. And, very importantly, the other players didn’t think because the manager did this it’s not such an important tournament. I saw in the eyes of all the players that they wanted to win tonight. That’s very important.”
Liverpool are looking to win the League Cup for a record ninth time this season.
The Reds are second favourites to win the competition behind Manchester City after Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United all fell at the fourth-round hurdle.
Liverpool face Chelsea in their next Premier League game at Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon.