Liverpool moved to the next round of the FA Cup with a 3-0 victory over Exeter City in the second leg of the tie that ended 2-2 in the first leg. Manager Jurgen Klopp played a relatively young team in the first leg and chose to go with almost the same squad for the Anfield leg of the tie.
Goals from Joe Allen, Teixeira and Ojo saw off a lackluster Exeter side as Liverpool set up a 4th round tie at Anfield with the Hammers.
Talking about his young players who were given a chance, “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 an offense.”
Klopp was asked about Teixeira’s future and the manager felt that he was a good player and deserved a first team call up.
“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 all praises for the other youngsters especially Ojo who scored a splendid goal in the second half.
“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.
However, he explained that the young side needs some time to settle into the club and that it is important for them to be patient in a club like Liverpool.
“It is a long way for these young boys but they showed what they are already able to do and what they have to learn,” he said. “If everyone stays cool… It is not protecting them but giving the lads time to develop.
“Tonight was a good moment, there were a few things which were impressive but a lot of things to learn. The target at the end of the road has to be [playing for] Liverpool FC in the Premier League and for this you have to be ready.
“We cannot bring them all in every week in the Premier League. A few months ago when I said we need to have all our best players here (Ryan) Kent, Ojo, (Kevin) Stewart and Tiago (Ilori) were on loan.”
Klopp was asked about his team selection but he was adamant that he chose Ibe and Allen purely because they were fit and available.
They didn’t play too often in the last few games, so they had no problems and so that’s the reason they played tonight.
“We knew it would be a different game tonight; we played on a completely different pitch and we played differently from the first second, but against a good opponent.
Klopp felt that the team did really well to dominate and take away the game from their opponents and felt that Liverpool has to score more goals to feel comfortable in big games.
“A really good opponent. They played football, had a playing build up, they tried everything and we had a lot of work to do, especially for 10-15 minutes in the second half when we lost a little bit of control, but then we scored the goals.
“We should do this more often and then we’d feel how goals change games!”
Jon Flanagan made his senior team come back after 20 months and had a great reception from the Anfield crowd. Klopp expressed his happiness in seeing the right back-back to action.
“When he came in it was a great moment after this long time,” he said. “I’ve not had him too often in training because we need to be careful with him.
“It was a real emotional moment when everyone stood up and clapped. I don’t think anyone deserved it more than him. It is such an unbelievably long time he was injured but he has never been in a bad mood.
“Hopefully, now it goes on and we have to see how he feels tomorrow. It was one of the best pieces of news we could get.”