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Klopp: The Kids Did Well, but Give Them Time to Develop

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Jürgen Klopp's youthful side exerted themselves well against Exeter, but the manager warned everyone not to get too caught up in their success because they still have so far to go in their development.

I dig the way this dude is falling. Also there are no photos of Tex from this match yet.
I dig the way this dude is falling. Also there are no photos of Tex from this match yet.
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

No one -- save for those in the Exeter City finance department who might take delight in a share of the match day revenue -- wanted an FA Cup replay at Anfield. In the midst of an incredibly busy month, adding one more match to January's fixture list was not ideal. Jürgen Klopp's faith in his young players paid off in Liverpool's eventual 3-0 over Exeter, which included a goal by Joao Carlos Teixeira.

"I like Joao, as a person he's a really nice guy and he's a good footballer," Klopp said after the match. "Of course players like him need matches, and if you can't get it where you are it should not be my decision.

"It's not allowed to be three or four years a substitute in this age, you have to play. I would like to work with him longer because it's only four months and I see his big jumps in development. You see tonight he deserved a goal really, he worked hard, it was really man football he played, was defensively strong, good moments in offense."

Though Teixiera seems to have made an impact on Klopp in the four short months the manager has been in charge, Klopp can't yet make any definitive proclamations about what Teixeira's future might hold long term.

"We are always in talks, we have to speak about it, see what he wants, see what we want," he explained. "It has to fit in the end, all players can't stay here. Sometimes you have to leave, I'm not sure it's the situation for Joao. He did really well in the Championship, came back and did not have the best position but a little bit better since I've been here."

Klopp was also quick to point out that though both Teixeira and his young teammate Sheyi Ojo both scored goals, no one should be quick to heap too much expectation on them this early into their development.

"I'm happy to have [Ojo] here - he made a goal, not too bad! - and in the last game he came in and was important for the draw," Klopp continued. "He's in a good way but it's a long way for these young boys. They showed nearly everything, they showed what they are already able to and what they have to learn. That's always at this age.

"We must give the lads time to develop. Tonight was a good moment, a few things very impressive but lot of things still to learn. The target has to be Liverpool FC Premier League and for this you have to be ready in all parts of development and that's where we try to help the boys."

Klopp's new policy of keeping Liveprool's top youth prospect in Liverpool rather than sending them out on loan seems to be paying dividends already in the short time since he implemented this change. Whether the youth will continue to get chances as Liverpool progress into deeper rounds of their various cup competitions remains to be seen, but if they can impress in training week in and week out, it wouldn't be surprising to find at least one or two make an appearance from the bench in the new few weeks.