Last night was disappointing. There’s no getting around that. But even in disappointment, there were real positives. Throughout the League Cup and FA Cup runs, several youth and fringe players earned their call-ups and took them well.
This, of course, includes Neco Williams and Curtis Jones, the two youth players who earned starts at Stamford Bridge on their merits. The latter spoke about the call up after the match.
“It was a great experience for the likes of me and Neco,” Jones said to the club’s official site. “I thought we started well but it wasn’t the result that we wanted, and on a personal note I’m devastated to not have had the best performance and not going through to the next round.
“In any big game it’s vital that every opportunity that you get you try to take it. We had a couple of chances in the first half where their ‘keeper made three or four great saves.
“I think for a young lad at such a big club it’s not always easy getting game time as much as you’d like or in the games that you would like, but the gaffer has shown great belief in myself and the rest of the young lads and hopefully I’ve paid him back in a great way and look forward to a few more along the way.”
Although Jones was partially responsible for the second goal, his overall performance was really solid, and he did not look overwhelmed or out of place in the middle of the park. He and Williams have taken massive strides over the course of the season, and hopefully they’ll be able to kick on—either at Liverpool or elsewhere—in the coming seasons.