With the World Cup over, we turn our attention back to domestic football, with Liverpool’s season set to resume on Thursday in the League Cup when they take on Manchester City in a game where both sides will likely be without a few key stars.
Even without some players absent due to their World Cup involvement, though, England’s second cup competition has always been seen as a chance by manager Jürgen Klopp to get some of his squad and youth players involved, including goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher.
“It has been a long break now for all of us so we’re obviously itching to get back,” said Kelleher, who scored the decisive penalty in last season’s League Cup final against Chelsea, with Liverpool winning 11-10 after an epic series of spot kicks.
“We’re well prepared and all raring to go. Our mindset is that we want to win it again. We know it’s going to be a tough game against City but we are the holders and we want to show we’re the holders for a reason. We want to try to progress and try to win it.”
Last season, the 24-year-old Kelleher made eight total appearances for the Reds including four on the way to League Cup glory, and Liverpool can count themselves fortunate to have one of England’s best backups behind Brazil star Alisson Becker.
The Republic of Ireland international would likely start for a number of league sides already, and for Liverpool the challenge is to keep him as happy as they can—and means making sure he knows that whoever they face in the cup, it’s his competition.
“When you play more games you obviously get more confident,” he added. “It’s good experience for me, the games I have played, so I’m confident and ready to go. It will be a tough test again for us but hopefully we can get a win and go to the next round.”