Tonight, the Liverpool U21s will start their journey in search of grabbing the EFL Trophy. This competition is a tournament that has historically pitted teams on the third and fourth tier of the English football pyramid against each other. Seven years ago, though, the decision was made to include U21 teams from the Premier League and the Championship amongst those vying for the trophy.
This year, Liverpool FC find themselves in a group with a familiar name. In a wide-ranging interview ahead of the competition, U21 head coach Barry Lewtas mentioned one of those names: Blackpool manager and former youth coach Neil Critchley.
It’s a tough group. Listen, it always is tough but I’ve been quite fortunate really that I’ve been able to lay eyes on a few of the teams. I’ve been to watch Blackpool, obviously we know their manager Critch [Neil Critchley] very well, I’ve seen Barrow a couple of times and I’ve been fortunate to watch Morecambe as well with the way our fixtures have kind of gone, so I’ve witnessed at first-hand what we will be up against and we are in for a real challenge.
Before they get to Critchley’s Blackpool, Liverpool will square off against Morecambe. Here’s what Lewtas had to say before tonight’s match.
A real tough one. They have started their season well. They will give us what our young players playing against them need, in terms of tactical differences, style differences that maybe we are not quite used to.
Liverpool’s Academy has had quite the run of success in the FSG years, with Trent Alexander-Arnold, Curtis Jones, Joe Gomez, and Harvey Elliott all integral parts of the first team. Add in players knocking on the door like Ben Doak, Stefan Bajcetic and Jarell Quansah, one would expect to see quite the performance from the Baby Reds. Here’s hoping they can do a job and give Neil Critchley and his charges a thing or two to lose sleep over ahead of that match up.