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Klopp Praises Youngsters After Carabao Cup Appearances

The kids, they’re alright.

Preston North End v Liverpool - Carabao Cup Round of 16 Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images

Liverpool FC are through to the quarter finals of the Carabao Cup after a 2-0 victory away to Preston North End. As expected, both the starting lineup and substitutes bench were well stocked with Liverpool youth, with Tyler Moton and Harvey Blair starting, and Elijah Dixon-Bonner, Conor Bradley and Owen Beck joining them off the bench. Klopp was of course, effusive in his praise of the young Liverpool FC footballers:

“They learned a lot I’m pretty sure. You can see Tyler Morton. We have to send him directly to the gym pretty much because if he gets a body he’s a brilliant footballer.”

“There’s still some things to come physique-wise but the football brain is outstanding.”

“Harvey is a real talent but offensive players they need passes, they need the right moments. You can’t expect in the first game against a challenging team that he outplays four players and then puts the ball in the far corner.”

“Conor Bradley is a real talent. I like his heart, he’s playing with a lot of heart and his speed in the solo run he showed was really nice. Elijah [Dixon-Bonner] deserved just a few minutes. That’s how it is.”

“I think everybody knows Owen Beck played in pre-season for us some real good games. Another talent.”

“I like that we could give the boys opportunities even if it’s only a few minutes. It’s only the start for them. It’s the first game for some, now they can build on that.”

The game was won by goals from Takumi Minamino and Divock Origi, both off assists from Liverpool Academy graduate Neco Williams, who started the game at right-back, but pushed forward to right-winger later in the second half. The Welshman was understandably delighted:

“We knew it weren’t going to be easy. Preston are a good side and gave us a tough game. We didn’t play our best football but we did enough to get the win and we’re happy with that.”

“I’ve got to thank Taki and Divock for them goals, they saved me there but great finishes. The team put a shift in and we worked our balls off and we got the win.”

“All the lads put a shift in from the goalkeeper to the strikers. I’m thankful we got the win and I made contributions to the goals.”

One wonders how much squad rotation will be available in the next round, since there’s only one non-Premier League team (Sunderland) left in the competition. Based on past evidence, it’s likely that Klopp won’t be too bothered and will continue calling on the first-team backups with a healthy dash of youngins to continue to keep the squad fresh for their Premier League and Champions League exploits.